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London Heathrow Airport to / from Harwich

Logistics Transferring Between Heathrow & Harwich By Private and Public Transport

Heathrow - Harwich London Airport Transfers

Harwich is around 90 miles from London and by road about 115 miles from Heathrow Airport, at least a 2 hour journey with a clear road.

Of the main cruise terminals serving London, Southampton, Dover and Harwich, Harwich is the least accessible from Heathrow. Harwich is the other side of London from both main London airports, Heathrow and Gatwick so its not the most convenient transfer.

To travel to Harwich from Heathrow the key points are:

  • There is no direct scheduled daily public transport between Heathrow and Harwich

  • When a large cruise ship is in port, a cruise bus runs direct to and from the cruise terminal at Harwich from Heathrow Airport

  • The cruise bus departs Heathrow hotels around 8 a.m. , it doesn't pick-up from passenger terminals. In the return direction it does drop at passenger terminals.

  • By public transport, the options available require three or more modes of transport booked independently of one another and will take around 3 hours or more.

  • Private cars should do the journey in 2 hours or more, but much of the route is around London's orbital motorway, the busiest in Europe where traffic comes to a standstill routinely during commute hours and no easy alternative if a major accident blocks the road.

Private Transfers By Car/Sedan, Van or Bus

If you're flying in on the day of your cruise you may have little option but to hire a private car. So lets get this option out of the way first.

On a good day with a clear road a vehicle may make the journey in 2 hours, fine if you're arriving on a 6 a.m. flight on a Sunday, but on a workday like Monday the same journey may be nearer 3 hours.

More Details of Private Transfers Between Harwich & London

Harwich Cruise Bus - London Hotels & Heathrow To/From Harwich

Cruise Shuttle Bus To/From London

A cruise bus servicee is available on all dates when a Royal Caribbean or Celebrity cruise ship is visiting Harwich.

In the London to Harwich direction the 2 separate services run, one bus picks up from hotels in all of the major hotel districts of Central London the other from Heathrow Airport where it will pick-up from a selection of Heathrow Airport hotels (but not passenger terminals) before going onto Harwich arriving around 1 p.m. with a brief comfort stop at a motorway/feeway services area that also has a small supermarket.

London to Harwich Cruise Bus - More Details

In the opposite Harwich to London direction there is a Meet n Greet service as you disembark. A short 45 minute photo stop is made at the Tower of London before hotel drops in Central London and then onto Heathrow. On this leg the bus will drop at any Heathrow passenger terminal as well as Heathrow hotels. The service is scheduled to arrive at Heathrow about 1:45 p.m..

Harwich to London Cruise Bus - More Details

Heathrow to Harwich By Public Transport

Harwich is quite an isolated town, the only viable public transport to it from the London area is by train. Harwich is on a branch line, a spur off a main line from London's Liverpool Street Station. The good news is that Harwich Ferry & Cruise Terminal is integrated into Harwich International train station and there are broadly hourly trains. The even better news is that when there is a large cruise ship in port a special non-stop train is put on in each direction timed to coincide with disembarkation/embarkation. The bad news is that Liverpool Street is very frustrating and time consuming to get to from Heathrow.

London Cruise Transfers Q&A

Option B is to cut out Central London altogether. National Express run a coach from Heathrow to Marks Tey near Colchester, the nearest regional large town to Harwich. From Marks Tey, by train from the rail station changing train at Manningtree to Harwich International will take taking another 45-75 minutes depending on connections.

Heathrow to Liverpool Street

Heathrow to Liverpool Street is a very awkward transfer, especially with cruise luggage.

If you splurged on a taxi it would do very well to get you to Liverpool Street in an hour.

The cheapest option by far is the London Underground. Trains are frequent, every 5 minutes and the journey should take about 70 minutes with a change of train at Holborn in the centre of London. Whether the London Underground experience is what you really need after a long flight will be clearer to you if you read our Heathrow London Underground page.

The other viable alternative mid-way between the above two in terms of cost and comfort is to get the Heathrow Express train to London Paddington, then a London taxi or the Underground to Liverpool Street.

If you are travelling on a Sunday its well worth checking the rail companies web site (Greater Anglia) as Sunday is the main day for heavy maintenance where stretches of the line are occasionally shut down.

Harwich - Liverpool Street Train At Harwich

Harwich - Liverpool Street Train At Harwich

London Liverpool Street To/From Harwich By Train

There is a broadly hourly train between Harwich International Station and London's Liverpool Street Station. The Harwich line is a branch line and for nearly all train journeys between Harwich and London you will have to change trains at Manningtree Station.

Journey time is around 75 minutes.

Note: Liverpool Street Station is in the City Of London in the financial area of London, the other side of town from where most people will have their London hotel. The London Underground or a 15-20 minute taxi ride is a tedious add-on to most people's journey.

When one of the large cruise ships are in port a special cruise train is normally arranged. This runs once each way non-stop between Harwich International and Liverpool Street street. Otherwise it is the same train as the scheduled services.

London and Harwich Trains - Full Details

Heathrow to Marks Tey By Coach, Then Train To Harwich

National Express Bus Services Between & To London's 4 major airports

The trek between Heathrow and Liverpool Street by public transport is not something anybody would look forward to. A work around solution is to avoid Central London altogether.

The National Express Bus Service goes about every 2 hours from Heathrow to Marks Tey a railway station near Colchester, a journey of around 2 hours. Then you switch to the train service coming out of Liverpool Street and go to Harwich International changing at Manningtree.

This option is much more seemless than going via Central London, perhaps the only downside is frequencies are less and National Express have luggage surcharges if any case is above 20kg (44lbs).

Late Heathrow Flight Solution For Morning Disembarkatioons From Harwich Cruise Ships
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