In the past few years, Zeebrugge - the seaport of Bruges - experienced a fast development towards a port with an annual treatment of more than 38 million tons of goods, from more than 7,000 seagoing vessels. The seafarers, who man these ships, are important contributors to this success and, as such, they deserve a hospitable reception and treatment in the port area.
Therefore, a seamen centre in a port like Zeebrugge is a must.
At the end of December 1984, the previous "Seamen's Club" was closed. In April 1986, a temporary centre, the 'Octopus Seamen's Club', was opened near the P. Vandamme lock.
On February 2nd, 1997, het building of the old fishing school at het market place of Zeebrugge was acquired. With the financial help of the ITF Seafarers Trust Antwerp and London, the building could be transformed into a real seamen centre.
This contribution of the OTF Seafarers Trust is mentioned at the commemoration plate in the lobby of the seamen centre.
On June 28th, 2000, the new Seamen Centre, was inaugurated (read more). As from that date, the harbour disposes of a small, yet efficient seamen's house.
Another great event was the visit of King Albert II and Queen Paola at the Seamen Centre Zeebrugge on October 18th, 2001 (read more).
VOLUNTEERS ARE STAND-BY 7/7 AND 24/24
The Seamen Centre Zeebrugge vzw, an independent non-profit organization, runs the centre. An enthusiastic team of volunteers offers support, relaxation and attention to the seafarers who arrive in Zeebrugge during their long journeys.
SEAMEN CENTRE Friends
The Seamen Centre Zeebrugge may count on the support of the Seamen Centre Friends, who
contribute to the centre's operations by taking part in the various activities organized by the centre.
Events are organized on a regular basis, like city visits, lectures, trips abroad, a "Members' day" etc.