Southampton - Gatwick Airport cruise transfers compared

All transport options between Southampton and Gatwick Airport compared

Cruise Ship Southampton Ocean Cruise Terminal

How far is Southampton from Gatwick Airport?
Gatwick Airport is one of London's main airports and is about 90 miles (145km) from Southampton. The journey from Gatwick to Southampton should take about two hours by road. Gatwick is located to the south of the capital and is about an hour from central London as our map below illustrates.

What are the transfer choices between Gatwick and Southampton?
Gatwick to Southampton is served by three main transport options.
These are booking a convenient private taxi, taking the train or catching a National Express coach.
All of these are available from the airport terminal but only the taxi will drop you directly at your cruise ship. There is no shared shuttle van style service between Gatwick and Southampton cruise terminals.

Relative position of Gatwick Airport and Southampton

Private taxi and coach transfers between Gatwick & Southampton

Southampton cruise ship taxi transfer

The logistics of the private transfers

With a clear road, London Gatwick to Southampton is about 2 hours. The route passes London's main airport Heathrow and also London's congested orbital road. Its quite important you budget adequate contingency time. If the motorway is congested or there is an accident, alternative routes are much, much slower.

Going towards Southampton from Gatwick the worst congestion is on a weekday morning before 10 am. If you are travelling on a summer Saturday, the road down to Southampton can be at gridlock in the morning as half of London makes for the beaches.

Travelling from Southampton nearly all cruise ships have assisted disembarkation between about 7am and 9am. During weekdays you will be travelling during the morning commute so allow for road congestion delays.

We offer a comprehensive private transfer service to or from your Southampton cruise ship.

  • We have a wide range of vehicles of all sizes that cater from single travellers to large groups.
  • Prices include all taxes and parking. .
  • At Gatwick you will personally be met and greeted as you exit into the public area of both passenger terminals, North and South. Our drivers track your incoming flight and will time their arrival based on actual landing time. No need to worry if your flight is early or late. For large groups you may have to find your own way to the private coach bays in front of the terminal.
  • At Southampton cruise terminals you will personally be met and greeted as you exit into the public area of the terminals and escorted to the vehicle.

Luggage, outsize items and groups

We can make a proposal for all needs, whether a large group, single traveller, mobility scooters or stopovers and special requests.

Sightseeing options like Stonehenge or Windsor Castle on the way!

A host of world class attractions are accessible during Southampton transfer route and with a private transfer you have the freedom to stop and explore. Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral are just three heritage sites of many you could visit.


London - Southampton car transfer

Direct door to door private transfers

Private direct transfers between Southampton and London and its airports.

Full information / Prices


Stonehenge or Windsor stopover

Private transfers between Southampton and London with stopover at Stonehenge or Windsor

Full information / Prices

Bibury cottages, Cotswolds England

Full day private tour transfers

Your own private full day cruise ship tour transfer either guided or with a friendly driver

Full information / Prices


There are two public transport options from Gatwick Airport to Southampton. These are the Southampton train and National Express Coach service. Both operate directly from the airport buildings, but you disembark in Southampton city centre. Neither serve Southampton's cruise terminals.

Transfers between Southampton train & coach stations and cruise terminals / hotels?

The railway and coach stations at Southampton are within 400 yards of each other in the city centre. There are no shuttles or public transport to any of Southampton's four cruise terminals. A local taxi cab is required for the cruise terminal transfer. The cost will vary depending on cruise terminal, one way budget around £10.

Both railway and coach stations are in the heart of Southampton city centre, there is a good choice of hotels close to both, a few within 5 minutes walk. All the main hotels are identified and compared including their relative locations on our Southampton hotels page.


The fastest public transport between Southampton and Gatwick Airport

Southampton Central Station
Southampton Central Station

Regular, direct trains operate to Southampton from Gatwick Airport, offering a broadly hourly service. The Southampton train starts out at London's Victoria Station and between Gatwick and Southampton takes around two hours.

On Sundays there are no direct train services between Gatwick and Southampton. You will need to travel indirect via Clapham Junction in London.

Gatwick & Southampton train stations - where are they?

The train station at Gatwick is located in the south terminal; this is connected to the north terminal by a free shuttle train.

Southampton Central Station, is in the heart of the city centre. It's too far to walk from here to the any of Southampton's four cruise terminals with luggage. There are no shuttles or public transport serving the cruise terminals. You must therefore take a local cab to your cruise ship. It's just a few minutes drive and should cost no more than £10. There are no porters to assist you from the station platform to the taxi rank.

Map pf train lines between London and Southampton

Should I pre book my train ticket?

Train tickets allow travel on any train, although the cheapest tickets may have exclusion periods. It's often much cheaper and more convenient to pre book your ticket on-line in advance. The cheapest rail fares are often advanced purchase, released around 12 weeks prior to travel.

Pre booking tickets on-line enable you to purchase the best value tickets for your itinerary as well as being convenient. You can buy tickets on-line using a credit card opting either for e-ticket or you can collect them at machines at either Gatwick or Southampton stations.

Nearly all stations have manned ticket offices, unlike the London Underground, and all have ticket machines. Ticket offices at the main stations are open all day from early morning to evening. However, queues for the manned ticket offices can be long and much of the time you will get a cheaper fare by buying well in advance.

E-tickets and mobile tickets

E-tickets and mobile tickets are increasingly becoming available from many train operating companies. These include South Western, Southern, Thameslink, Chiltern, London North Western and London North Eastern operating services into London. The airport trains run by Heathrow Express, Gatwick Express and Thameslink are also supported.

Magnetic card tickets

Magnetic card tickets are the tradional tickets dispensed by ticket machines and ticket offices can be ordered in advance and collected at main railway stations. Stations where you can collect tickets include all of London's mainline terminus stations, Heathrow and Gatwick airports and Southampton and Dover port railway stations. When you purchase these tickets on-line you are given a unique code which you type into the dedicated ticket machines and they then dispense the tickets. Tickets are ready after 15 minutes of order.

Card payments (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club, Maestro), PayPal and Apple Pay are payment options on-line.


Woman in a train

Book train tickets in advance, save money
• Full timetables & journey planning
• Identify the best fares, including advance fares
• Purchase e-tickets or collect tickets at station

Luggage on the Gatwick to Southampton trains

There are no luggage cars on the trains. You need to independently carry your luggage into the passenger cabin, seats are taken on a first come first serve basis. Trains start from London and will have stopped at several stations before Gatwick. There are no porter services at Gatwick or Southampton station to assist you. Whatever you bring you must carry on-board yourself.

Luggage storage space is limited. There is headroom space above the seats, but this is for smaller bags not large cases. The allocated area for large luggage may be some distance from your seat making it difficult for you to keep an eye on it. Space permitting you may be able to store luggage around your seating area.

We have a dedicated London -Southampton trains page covering in more detail all aspects of train travel between London and it's airports and Southampton.


The cheapest public transport between Southampton and Gatwick Airport

National Express Coach
National Express Coach

National Express, the UK's largest scheduled coach operator runs up to eight services daily direct between Gatwick and Southampton. Scheduled journey time is around 2 hours 20 minutes, so around 20 minutes slower than the train.

All National Express coaches are equipped with toilet and wash-room facilities. Power sockets or USB ports are on all vehicles and free wifi is available on most services.

Where do I board the Gatwick - Southampton coach?

For Gatwick Airport departures you board the coach at bus stops immediately outside the arrivals hall of both North and South airport terminals.

The coaches only stop at the passenger terminals at Gatwick and the coach station at Southampton - no stops are made at hotels or Southampton cruise terminals.

For Southampton dep[artures the coach station is in the heart of Southampton city centre. There are no shuttles or public transport between the cruise terminals and the coach station. From Southampton's four cruise terminals it is too far to walk with luggage, a local taxi cab from the well marshalled cruise terminal rank should cost around £10.

Should I pre book my ticket?

There are National Express ticket kiosks and ticket machines within Gatwick Airport's passenger terminals and Southampton coach station.

We recommend you pre book your ticket on-line in advance. Departures, especially after a cruise ship has docked do get fully booked and when this happens a second bus is not provided. E-tickets are available sent directly to your e-mail in-box.

National Express offer a choice of ticket types. Cheapest fares are advance purchase on-line, some are exclusively on-line. Like many fare structures you pay more for flexibility to change schedules or cancel. For the cheapest fares with no flexibility you can pay a supplement that allows you to switch schedules if your flight is late. Fares will vary according to demand and how far a ticket is booked in advance of their journey.

Tickets are not allocated a seat number, you select your seat on boarding on a first come first served basis. Subject to availability you can reserve the front seats of the coach for a supplement.


National Express coach

Book in advance, confirm seat, save money
• Full timetables & journey planning
• Identify the best fares, including advance fares
• Pay securely by credit card, e-tickets and mobile tickets

Luggage on the Gatwick to Southampton National Express coaches

Hold luggage

For each person you are allowed to take one or two medium sized suitcases or rucksacks (no more than 20kg per item) free of charge and one small piece of soft hand luggage. Alternatively, you may take 1 large item (no more than 20kg) and one small piece of hand luggage
Hold luggage maximum sizes defined as: Medium case: 70cm x 30cm x 45cm; Large case: 75cm x 50cm x 32cm

Hand luggage

An item of soft hand luggage taken into the passenger cabin must be able to be placed under the seat in front of passengers or in an overhead locker. With the exception of briefcases, no hard-shelled cases, wheeled bags or hard-framed rucksacks/backpacks are permitted on board for safety reasons and must be stowed with hold luggage. You will not incur an additional charge for this.
Soft hand luggage maximum size: 45cm x 35cm x 20cm

Excess luggage and outsize items

Excess luggage can be taken for which there is a charge. You can reduce this cost by 20% if your excess luggage is pre booked on-line. If there is a group of you travelling on the same ticket, then its ok to pool the luggage between you all to help prevent a surcharge.
The drivers load and unload the luggage into the hold directly from yourself, immediately prior to boarding, you do not check-in the luggage prior.

Foldable pushchairs and foldable bicycles are all accepted in addition to the allowance however that is providing there is enough space in the hold. Lightweight manual wheelchairs and mobility scooters (under 20kg) are also accepted but prior arrangements are needed (at least 36 hours ahead of travel).

For more comprehensive information we have a designated National Express page for full details.


Tailor your own pre- or post-cruise package including hotels, transfers and sightseeing

Flexible pre-cruise or post-cruise packages are available for you to tailor your own mini break in London. Why not spend time exploring the capital and visiting all the major attractions to start or end your cruise holiday in style. 

The whole package is created by you.

  • Choose from 4- and 5-star hotels in London
  • Choose how many nights at the hotel
  • Choice of shared transfer tours between London hotel and Southampton or Dover cruise terminal or from either terminal to London
  • A fully guided London sightseeing tour with entry to Tower of London, St.Paul's Cathedral and River Thames cruise (optional for post-cruise)
  • Free access to 'London in your pocket' app

These city break packages complement any cruise holiday.

London Tower Bridge

Pre-cruise packages in Central London

Tailor your own package with London hotel, London guided tour and cruise ship transfer tours.

Book now

London Eye

Post-cruise packages in Central London

Wind down post cruise with transfer tours from your ship to your choice of London hotel.

Book now


Stopover in Royal Windsor, don't kill time at the airport

Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle

Most cruise ships at Southampton are fully disembarked by around 9am, so with a transfer to Heathrow or Gatwick (London's main airports) you can expect to be in the passenger terminal by around 11am.

This works well if you have a lunch time or early afternoon departure but not if your flight is later. Hanging around an airport terminal is not a great way to end any holiday. So rather than kill time in a soulless airport passenger terminal why not make your transfer a memorable part of your trip,

So rather than killing time at an airport terminal why not spend your day exploring beautiful Windsor?

There is much to experience in Windsor beyond the castle, you can easily spend a weekend here. Windsor Castle is in the middle of town with shopping, restaurants galore, river trips and much more.


Windsor Castle
  • Private transfers with meet n greet
  • Depart at a time of your choice.
  • Free time, secure luggage storage.
  • Flat fee, no time limit at Windsor
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