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Brussels-Vilvoorde waterbus resumes for the summer

15:07 02/05/2024

Brussels may have no river, but it does have canals, which make a lovely way to discover the capital or commute - and Brussels By Water’s Brussels-Vilvoorde waterbus, which starts near Kanal art centre and ends at Vilvoorde’s new waterfront area, resumed service on 1 May.

The waterbus can be used for individual trips, tourism or excursions. It can also be rented out for parties and events. The waterbus also promotes cycling in the canal zone, by allowing people to board with their bikes at just an extra €1 per trip.

On the 10km, 55-minute journey, the various stops are connected to other public transport links (tram, metro, bus and train). They are also located close to park-and-ride facilities, parks, shopping centres, leisure areas, residential and office districts.

This year, the waterbus will run between 9.00 and 18.00 from Monday to Friday from 1 May to 30 June and from 15 August to 31 October. The service will operate seven days a week in peak summer season, from 1 July to 14 August.

Launched in 2013 and providing transport and tourism services, the waterbus is a real alternative to the car, also because of the many traffic jams in the north of Brussels.

When it started, the service only operating on Tuesdays and Thursdays, carrying about 8,000 people in its first year.

In 2014, Wednesdays were added to the schedule. Since 2017, the waterbus, a real extension to public transport, has operated every weekday from May to October.

Last year, it carried 45,535 passengers, more than in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Brussels by Water also organises longer tourist boat trips, “sailing through five fascinating regions: the National Park Schelde Valley; the route of the extraordinary boat lifts [near La Louvière]; Antwerp and its impressive port; heritage on and along the water [industrial heritage, for example in the Temse, Mechelen or Vilvoorde area]; and Brussels and the green belt.”

The company also organises myriad evening and "cocktail" cruises, as well as events for businesses.

For more information on the route, stops and timetable, see

Written by Liz Newmark