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How to do One Day Several-Leg Trip w/o Chipkaart

I don't want to hijack the Chipkaart thread going, as I have a specific situation, and am hoping our Dutch members can give me some info, as I cannot get this from the Dutch web-site.

We have a long day-trip planned. We leave Bruges by their bus 42 for Breskens. On arrival there, we will then have 1) ferry to Vlissingen, 2) local train to Middelburg, 3) bus 133 to Delta Park (to explore outside for an hour, not go in), 4) an hour later bus 133 back to Middelburg, and end with 5) train to Leiden. How can we purchase tickets most efficiently without getting anonymous Chipkaart? From Leiden (also going to Keukenhof from there the next day, but that will be on the combined bus/park ticket from Leiden) we will a couple days later train to Amsterdam, where we will not need ANY transportation, other than several days later the train to Schiphol. These two trains we know how to purchase the individual tickets. We do not want to lose the fees for the Chipkaart, nor do we want the hassle of getting the refund while waiting for our plane. From what we've read, it seems that if we hang on to the card, it could expire before our next trip through.

So: is it possible to get one purchase that will pay for all of our transportation from Breskens that day, or at least the legs until we are back at Middelburg and need the Leiden train? Or do we have to find a separate vendor for each leg, in which case where would we get the tickets outside Delta Park? Or is it such that for that several leg trip I've written up that to get an anonymous card for those legs only would have fare charges substantially less than the individual fare (i.e, the saving greater than 1 Euro for each leg)?

Thanks in advance for any replies with decent info.

Posted by
2828 posts

It is not possible to buy a single transportation ticket.

If you want to forego the OV-Chipkaart, you will need to buy stand-alone train tickets (which now come in the form of a disposable single-trip OV-Chipkaart anyway), and stand-alone fares for buses, which are more expensive than the cost of travelling on OV-Chipkaart.

Posted by
2204 posts

How many of these rides can I buy at that first station I arrive at, which presumably should be the ferry terminal in Breskens - or must individual tickets be bought at EACH individual boarding location?

Posted by
2828 posts

You can buy all train disposable tickets for all your journeys from any NS train ticket machine, including the one in Vlissingen. Many ticket machines now accept credit cards with pin and chip.

Mind you: NS website says there is no manned ticket sales booth in Vlissingen, so you are taking a risk on arriving there and your card not working. It is a rather indirect route indeed.

What you can do is to buy full-fare train tickets to travel in the Netherlands in Belgium, online, on SNCB/NMBS website. The price is similar. If you go through some station where fare gates are already working, you use the code bar of your ticket bought abroad to open it on a special laser reader (marked on the gate).

For the bus to/from Neeltje Jans, you can pay on-board. It will cost you more than a regular fare.

I don't know about travel within Belgium.

One hour for the Delta Park is way too little in my opinion. The site is huge, even if you don't enter the exhibition center. There are the dam walkway, the artificial dunes, the beach... and the size of all of it is massive. I'd spare 2 hours.

Posted by
2204 posts

Thanks, Andre. The Vlissingen ticket booth would also include the one on the Breskens side, no?
Our Schwab Visa debit (ATM) card is supposed to be pin-and chip and work as such.

We do realize this is not a normal route we are taking. We went to some extremes to visit the Works while going from Bruges to Leiden (for Keukenhof) and then on to A'dam. Our son is finishing his civil engineering masters degree and wants us to get him some photos of the works. Yes, depending on the weather we could do more time, or if nasty get on the first bus heading back to Middelburg. After all, this will be on 23 April, who knows, right?

Good suggestion getting the train to Leiden in advance, but I am only finding doing this on ns.nl, where I tried to take this through to the purchase point, but it will only do this via one of several Dutch bank cards. The SNCB/NMBS is only letting me select Belgian stations. A similar try in b-europe will not produce trains. Do you have any other info on this?

Posted by
2828 posts

You are right.

SNCB is no longer selling online tickets for domestic Dutch trips.

Posted by
1005 posts

Sorry, but Andre is not quite correct. You can buy domestic Dutch train ticket on the Belgian rail website, as along as your journey starts or ends at the major station of these Dutch destinations: Amsterdam, Schiphol, Den Haag, Rotterdam, Utrecht, or Arnhem. So you can buy a ticket on the Belgian site if you are going from Amsterdam to Delft, but NOT if you are going from Leiden to Delft.

Posted by
2204 posts

If we were bite the bullet and get the anonymous Chipkaart, would we be able to get it at the Breskens ferry? Is that machine only? If so, won't we need a lot of change if our card won't work? Looking at the anticipated schedules, it looks like both times we come through Middelburg that we would have sufficent time before the next connection to go to a ticket booth for a manual transaction to top the card if need be, but we still need to load for the Ferry and the train ride into Middelburg, and possibly both of the 133 bus rides first.

Posted by
1540 posts

I live some 15km from the ferry in Breskens, however use it sporadically. Here in the region my mode of transport is my car and I don´t even have an OV-chipcard, actually not so familiar with it.

However Line 42 Bruges – Breskens Ferry (Veerhaven) is well known. I think best you can do is buying the ticket (one-way €6 pp) at the Lijnwinkel (ticket booth) where the busstop is in front of the railway station entrance or from the bus driver. The line is serviced bij the Belgian company De Lijn (white buses with grey and yellow), or the Dutch company Veolia (white buses with red), however their contract has ended here in our region at the end of last year, nevertheless some of their buses still drive around till new contractor Connexxion (blue-green buses with yellow-green) will be fully operational, within a few months I guess.

The ride takes 1h 20min and the bus stops within a few steps from the ferry terminal. As far as I know the ticket booth is manned, a one-way foot passenger ticket costs €2,90 pp. Veolia also serviced the ferry till the end of last year and you could pay with the OV-chipcard and I think it hasn´t changed with new operator the province of Zeeland itself now, but can´t see any official info from them on the internet, not 100% certain though. So to be sure always have some cash with you.

From Vlissingen and further you can rely on Andre´s info, he certainly knows more about the use of the OV-chipcard than me. If you can find some time, visit or have at least a drink in Middelburg before heading further, it´s really worth to consider.

You can use the OV-chipcard partly for the ride Bruges – Breskens, however only for the Dutch leg and to be short costs will be more in total. Tabacco shops with the Lotto logo usually sell tickets in Belgium too, but ask for those suitable for the trip to Breskens.

As soon as you have crossed the border, you will see already the older inland dikes for reclaiming land, some from the medieval period and mostley lined with trees. During the trip with the ferry you will see the sea-dikes from open water and I think one of the best places to see how fragile actually our nation is, just a little rim at the horizon.....

Posted by
2204 posts

Thanks, Wil. This knowledge is very helpful. I am sure you and Anders (et al) will appreciate my frustration in trying to get info - the web site for the Ferry does not get into English, and neither does the Connexion website, at least in terms of actual payment places and such. And for that matter, as noted above, I cannot from the US purchase advance tickets for the Middelburg-Leiden train that day. Between the Belgian de Lijn and nlnl92 I had already research all the connections and the schedules. According to de Lijn, the 42 stops about 500 meters from the B and b we will be staying at in Bruges (t'Geerwijn) and planned on getting tickets from the bus station when we arrived in town by train from Ghent earlier in the week.

I agree with you and Anders that it would have been nice had we allowed more time for this, including an overnight in Middleburg, but the way the trip planned out it became seeing the Delta Works as part of the transfer from Bruges to Leiden. At least we can take more time there if we want as there is flexiblity on the 133 bus plus train to Leiden combination that afternoon. Also, I did the backtrack to Middelburg for only two connections, rather than going forward and having a complicated path into Rotterdam and then getting to their train station.

Posted by
1540 posts

Larry - I understand your frustration finding necessary info for arranging everything at home. Some websites are only in Dutch, like the one of the ferry, I think mostly for cutting costs as just a few foreign tourists use public transport here, not worth the effort I guess.

In Belgium and The Netherlands public transport is well organized, however bus connections between the two are at least to say a bit poor. Zeeland or the Delta Region where the Storm Surge Barrier is, is one of the least populated area´s in the Netherlands with many remote places, so we miss an extensive bus network here, making travelling with public transport less obvious. The route from the barrier direct to Rotterdam is indeed complicated and doubt if it will safe time.

Your B&B in Bruges can tell you exactly where to get on the bus and I think places to buy tickets. You can buy blank tickets which have to be validated on the bus, the Lijnwinkel however can put the date of travel on it if bought there.

Good luck!