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Heathrow Airport to Harwich – Best 2014 Transfer Options Compared

Author: Bob Handford
Harwich is 115 miles from London\’s Heathrow Airport, or 185 kms.
Harwich is on the far side of London from Heathrow. Heathrow Airport is west of London, Harwich to the north east.
There are no direct scheduled services you can buy a ticket between Harwich and Heathrow Airport, you need at minimum 2 changes of transport.

In summary, traveling between Heathrow Airport and Harwich is a pain. Unless you give some time considering your options and make an informed choice of transfer it could well be a banana skin waiting for you to slip over.

Direct Transfers Heathrow Airport - Harwich

In 2014, the only direct transfer option between Heathrow and Harwich is a taxi or private car. Pre-booked in advance a reliable operator of good standing should charge below 200 British Pounds for a sedan/saloon size car for 2/3 people with luggage.
Journey time on a good day is 2 hours.
About half of the journey is on the M25 London orbital motorway, one of Europe\’s busiest and infamous for traffic congestion. During the working week add on another hour or more as a contingency in case of traffic delays.

When a Royal Caribbean or Celebrity cruise ship is visiting Harwich, there is an independent cruise bus service between Heathrow and Harwich that picks up from Heathrow hotels from around 8 a.m.
At a cost of 59 British Pounds per person in each direction this will take you and your luggage to the cruise terminal at Harwich. Full details are linked at the foot of this blog.

And that\’s it, unless your cruise ship is making available its own bus transfer.

Heathrow - Harwich Cruise Bus

Heathrow – Harwich Cruise Bus

Recommendation - Stay In A Hotel Overnight At Heathrow or Central London

You will save yourself a lot of stress and needless worry if you fly in at least the day before your cruise and stay overnight either at a Heathrow Airport Hotel or London.
The cruise bus service mentioned above picks up at major Heathrow and Central London Hotels

Most cruise check-in\’s are by 3 p.m.
You need at least 2.5 hours to travel by car direct hoping there will be no traffic delays on the way.

Flight arrival times are just scheduled arrival times. Most flights if anything arrive early with the gulf stream of air pushing them along.
If the gulf steam is not there and headwinds are experienced then your flight will be late.
During the summer months there are often substantial delays to flights from the eastern seaboard of North America through thunder storms in that area.

The Cheapest Transfer Between Heathrow and Harwich

If the lowest price is everything to you, then the cheapest way between Heathrow and Harwich is the London Underground between Heathrow Airport and London\’s Liverpool Street Station, then a train on to Harwich.

The cheapest (Oyster) fare between Heathrow and Liverpool Street is either 3 or 5 British Pounds depending on what time/day you travel. Travel time is about 70 minutes and you will need to change train at Holborn Station.

Personally I would not recommend this if you have more luggage than one large bag and a shoulder bag/handbag you will be comfortable negotiating stairs and walking corridors in crowds with.

There are hourly trains between Liverpool Street and Harwich International, adjacent to the cruise terminal at Harwich.
You will have to change train at least once to another train and journey time will be around 90 minutes.
If you book on-line about 10 weeks in advance and pick-up your tickets at Liverpool Street then you may well get a discounted fare about 8 British Pounds (against 31 British Pounds if you buy tickets on the day)

There are no seniors concessions on either London Underground or UK trains for visitors.

Any questions about this and variations on the above, use the discussion facility below.

Train Service Central London - Harwich

When a Royal Caribbean or Celebrity cruise ship is visiting Harwich, there is a special cruise train that runs one schedule in each direction between London\’s Liverpool Street Station and Harwich International Station, adjacent to the cruise and ferry terminal.

At a cost of 31.90 British Pounds per person in each direction this train runs non-stop and takes about 75 minutes. The actual train is exactly the same commuter style train that runs the hourly train service with a change of train at ManningTree.

There are no seat reservations, no porterage you just buy a ticket and grab a seat and somewhere to store your luggage.

The point to make about train transfer is that Liverpool Street Station is very inconvenient for most leisure travellers. A taxi will be at least 15 British pounds from the main hotel districts in London and there are no direct public transport links between Liverpool Street and Heathrow Airport.

There is also an hourly train service from Liverpool Street to Harwich with a change of train required. By buying tickets on-line in advance and collecting them at Liverpool Street. Fares can be as low as 8 British Pounds. (The actual trains are identical to those used on the cruise train service)

There is no bus/coach service between London and Harwich

Harwich Cruise Train At Harwich International[

Harwich Cruise Train At Harwich International

Cruise Bus Service Central London And Heathrow Hotels - Harwich

When a Royal Caribbean or Celebrity cruise ship is visiting Harwich, there is a special cruise bus service.
The big plus with this coach service is that it picks up at most major hotels in Central London and Heathrow Airport and your luggage is taken entirely off your hands at your hotel.
Full details are via the link below.

Alternative London Airports To Heathrow

London has five major airports serviced by scheduled airlines

For long distance intercontinental flights Heathrow dominates, the main alternative for flag carrier airlines is Gatwick Airport. However, if anything Gatwick is worse than Heathrow for Harwich transfers.

The closest airport to Harwich is London Stansted, about half way between Heathrow and Harwich.
Stansted is dominated by low cost budget airlines flying to most countries in Europe, If you are flying from outside Europe, you may be able to fly indirect to Stansted via a European gateway like Dublin.

Links To Details Of Heathrow - Harwich Transfer Services

Harwich Cruise Bus Service – Full Details, reservations and list of hotel pick-ups at Heathrow and London


Private cars, vans and buses Heathrow – Harwich – Pricing and quotations for chartering your own vehicle with driver


Trains London Liverpool Street to Harwich – Full details and ticketing of train services


Heathrow Airport Hotels – Full details of all major airport hotels at Heathrow Airport


Central London Hotel Districts – Where To Stay In Central London


Comments and Questions About Heathrow - Harwich Transfers

The permutations of traveling between Heathrow and Harwich are endless. If you want some clarifications of a solution you are thinking about, contact me using the discussion facility below.

I\’ll normally get back to you within 24 hours

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  • sonali joshi


    Great post thanks for info!

    Heathrow airport Taxi

  • Carol Tyrrell

    We are taking a cruise from Harwich May 26 on RCL Brilliance and are booked in to the holiday Inn Express T5 the night before. This hotel is not on the pick up list. Is it better to change the hotel and lose the 50GBP we paid or to take a taxi to the nearest place where pick up will occur?

    • Bob

      Despite it’s name the Holiday inn Express T5 is about 3 miles from T5, which is why the cruise bus doesn’t come out that far.

      I certainly would not cancel at a 50 GBP rate that includes breakfast, you can pay that much just for 2 breakfasts at some of the hotels at Heathrow.

      You can either get the Hoppa Bus back to Terminal 5 and walk across to the Sofitel Hotel that is joined to T5 by a walkway over the road and wait in their reception.
      They don’t particularly like it when people do this but if you do it discretely they don’t do anything

      The other alternative is to get a taxi to the closest pick-up hotel the Sheraton Heathrow (note: not the Sheraton Skyline Heathrow).

      The cost of a local taxi cab and the Hoppa Bus should not be that different.

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