- WHERE TO STAY
- PUBLIC TRANSPORT
- CRUISE PORTS
It's about 75 miles (120km) between Dover and the centre of London.
Between Dover and Central London there is a wide choice of transport, both public transport and private hire, though it should be noted there are no direct shared hotel van shuttle style services with frequencies through the day available between London hotels and Dover.
There is a cruise bus that is a shared service with hotel drops and pick-ups with a single departure time.
Detailed below are the various options available outside of the expensive transport offered by the cruise line.
Offering direct transport between your cruise ship and Central London hotels or Heathrow Airport are dedicated cruise buses. In the direction to Dover a direct service operates with an option to visit Dover Castle if desired. In the Dover to London direction there is a choice of a direct shared van service or two full day guided tour transfers.
London to Dover direct shared shuttle
After a morning pick-up from your London hotel (within Central London Zone 1 & 2) you will be driven to your cruise ship at Dover. The only stops are the drops with the cruise passengers sharing the vehicle with you. Each minibus vehicle has a maximum 6 passengers and there is a maximum of 3 hotel drops.
London & Heathrow to Dover with Dover Castle add on
After a morning pick-up from your London or Heathrow hotel you will be driven to your cruise ship at Dover. As an option you can visit Dover Castle perched high up on the famous white cliffs looking down on your cruise ship below.
Dover to London and Heathrow direct shared shuttle
After pick-up from your cruise ship at Dover you will be driven to your London hotel within Central London Zone 1 & 2 or London Heathrow Airport. (Specify end point on booking.) Each minibus vehicle has a maximum 6 passengers and there is a maximum of 3 hotel drops.
Dover to London & Heathrow via Canterbury & Leeds Castle
A full day guided tour/transfer with a visit to Canterbury Cathedral (admission extra) and admission to Leeds Castle included in the price. You will be dropped at your London hotel, Heathrow Airport hotel or passenger terminal early evening.
The cheapest option by scheduled public transport are coach services by National Express. The National Express Coaches are much slower and much cheaper than the train services. They are modern air-conditioned buses with wash-rooms.
E-tickets are available on-line. Significant for people on cruises is the luggage allowance, 2 cases neither of which should weigh more than 20kg (44lbs) before steep surcharges kick in.
The other critical aspect is that you may well spend more on getting between the cruise ship and bus stops at Dover and between your hotel and London Victoria than a cheap advance ticket between Dover and London with National Express. In London the bus terminates at Victoria Coach Station, quite a way from many of the hotel districts, this is the only stop, there are not stops at hotels or other locations.
In Dover the bus terminates in Dover Town Centre after visiting Dover Ferry Terminal. The only option to get between either of these and the cruise ship is a 10 minute taxi ride.
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The fastest way to travel between Dover and London is by train. Rail is often faster than hiring a private car into or out of Central London. Train services are faster and more frequent than the alternative bus public transport between Central London and Dover, but normally much more expensive.
There are three main train lines between London and Dover.
The London St Pancras to Dover service is much faster than the other routes as the trains utilise the high speed tracks built for the Eurostar express trains between England and France.
You pay a small premium for this relative speed on the ticket. However, if you just miss one of these fast trains from Dover, you lose all that time advantage waiting for the next one.
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• UK buses • Eurostar • Virgin trains
No shuttle buses are provided between the cruise and the train station or London bus stops at Dover. You therefore need to get a taxi between the cruise terminal and the train station/bus stop.
The fare should be around £8. Taxi cabs at Dover come in a wide range of sizes and shapes, the image tight is fairly typical. If you have two cases per person and more than 2 people you may end up with multiple taxi cabs.
It's just a 5 minute drive between the cruise terminals at Dover to/from the railway and bus stations and ferry terminal. The cruise terminals are far too far to walk with luggage from the train stations. All fares within Dover should be on a meter.
For longer journeys outside Dover never leap into a taxi without agreeing the price beforehand. Although drivers may offer to accept your Euro or Dollar currency it will almost certainly be at a very poor exchange rate. Only do so as a last resort.
The taxi rank at the cruise terminal is well marshalled. Porters from the ship will normally take your luggage as far as the taxi rank immediately outside the front doors of the cruise terminal. It is customary to leave a small tip with cab drivers, assuming they provide a good service.
Dover Cruise terminal is about 75 miles (120 kms) from Central London. Heathrow Airport is the other (west) side of London from Dover and is much longer but in terms of travel time is similar, around 2 hours direct by vehicle.
We have a full range of vehicles ranging from saloon cars right up to large touring coaches so whatever your group size and amount of luggage we can offer a competitive proposal for your transfer needs.
At airports and cruise terminals the price includes meet and greet, the classic reception formula of our drivers being there with your name on a board as you exit customs/luggage. At hotels will come to the reception area to find you at the time you have stipulated at the time of reservation.