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Heathrow to Southampton cruise transfers compared

All transport options between Southampton and Heathrow Airport compared

Cruise Ship Southampton City Terminal

How far is Southampton from Heathrow Airport?
The distance between Southampton and Heathrow Airport is around 65 miles (105km).
On a good day by road this should take less than 90 minutes by car. Heathrow sits on a large motorway network which provides quick access down to the south coast where Southampton is located.

How to get from Heathrow to Southampton cruise terminals
There are many choices of transport connecting Heathrow with Southampton and on this page we compare them all.

If you want to go direct to the cruise terminals at Southampton your choice is between direct dedicated cruise shuttle vans, coach tour transfer options with a stopover at places like Windsor Castle and Stonehenge and of course private transfers by taxi and for groups mini-bus and charter coaches.

There is no direct train service between Heathrow Airport and Southampton, but National Express run a coach service. However the coach terminates at the city centre coach station, no stops are made at any of Southampton's cruise terminals.

Relative position of Heathrow Airport and Southampton


How to travel safely during a pandemic

All transport providers must adhere to strict Covid-19 guidelines, and are working to make your journey as safe as possible. Travelling on public transport will inevitably bring you into contact with other people and you may need to navigate through busy carriages and stations. In contrast, private and shuttle transfers keep you away from the crowds and offer minimal contact with others.

Private transfers

Private transfers offer the most convenient and flexible option with a meet and greet door to door service, either at the passenger/cruise terminal or your Heathrow or Southampton hotel. Flexibility to include sightseeing, (see map above).
• Fastest most convenient transfer. Only option with immediate departure and only option that will wait if flight late.
• If you have a flight out of Heathrow before 1pm this is your only option
• Most expensive transfer for couples. For groups and families is price competitive
• Arguably the safest transfer in a Covid world, as you travel in a private, sanitised vehicle with only your driver for company

Shared shuttle transfers

Shared shuttle transfers exclusive to cruise passengers, these provide a convenient door to door service between Heathrow (amd central London) and Southampton cruise terminals with a maximum of 4 pick-ups or drops.
• Small number of passengers (max 8) results in minimal drops or pick-ups
• At Heathrow picks up at all main airport hotels. On the return journey drop offs are made at terminal buildings too
• If there are more than two in your party between Heathrow and Southampton a private car transfer is cheaper
• No minimum number of passengers required. Will operate with only one person

Shared stopover and tour transfers visiting Stonehenge, Windsor Castle ....

Tour and stopover transfers are a variation on the shuttle transfers, but are often conducted in larger touring coaches. These transfers are also exclusively provided to Southampton cruise passengers.
• Time efficient and economic way to incorporate world class sightseeing into your Southampton cruise transfer
• At Heathrow picks up at all main airport hotels. On the return drop offs are made at both hotels and terminal buildings
• Full days tours offered from Southampton to Heathrow, and shorter half day trips from Heathrow to Southampton
• Relatively small extra cost over shuttles offering great value

Public transport - National Express coaches

National Express coaches are the only direct public transport between Heathrow Airport and Southampton. There is no train service offering this route. The National Express coaches do not visit Southampton cruise terminals, just the coach station in Southampton city centre.
• The only reason to use National Express coaches is it is the lowest cost option (by far)
• Requirement of local cab between Southampton coach station and cruise terminals. No stops at hotels
• By far the slowest and inconvenient transfer. Luggage allowance may well be less than your flight allowance

Heathrow late flight transfer solution

Heathrow late flight transfer solution is narrowly targeted at cruise passengers whose flight leaves Heathrow late afternoon or evening and have the prospect of killing several hours or more at the airport.
• Private transfers Southampton to Windsor and subsequently Windsor to Heathrow at times of your choosing
• Spend as long as you like in Windsor with luggage storage included. Visit the castle, shop, go on a river boat, explore Eton ...
• Flat fee however long you stay in Windsor, no waiting time charges
• Turns a potential wasted day into a memorable and enjoyable excursion


There is only one company offering pre booked shared transfers between Heathrow Airport and Southampton cruise terminals, beyond the cruise lines themselves. In addition National Express operate a Heathrow - Southampton scheduled coach service but this only drops at the coach station in Southampton. An onward transfer is required to Southampton's cruise terminals.

The dedicated shared transfers for cruise passengers come in three variants:
Direct van shuttles in both directions between the cruise terminals and Heathrow Airport
• In the Heathrow to Southampton direction half day transfers with sightseeing at Stonehenge, Windsor or Winchester
• In the Southampton to Heathrow direction full day transfers with sightseeing at two or three major sights

Joining your shared cruise transfer coach outside Southampton cruise terminal
Boarding shared transfer coach outside Southampton cruise terminal

For Southampton cruise terminals departures, all services are timed to depart by 8:30 am. As you exit into the public area of the cruise terminal a representative meets and greets you and shows you to the transfer vehicle. Drops at Heathrow can be at any main Heathrow hotel or passenger terminal.

For Heathrow departures, pick-ups are at major Heathrow hotels only, not passenger terminals. Heathrow Airport has four passenger terminals two of which (terminals 4 and 5) have hotels directly attached. From terminals 2 and 3 you will need to take a hotel shuttle.
Drops at Southampton cruise terminals are around lunch time / early afternoon. Cruise ship porters take your hold luggage from the vehicle into the ship whilst you proceed to check-in.

Cruise ships supported

Shuttle transfer services are available on all dates when Royal Caribbean, Oceania, NCL, Celebrity, Princess, Azamara and Carnival Mardi Gras cruise ships are visiting Southampton, between the end of April and beginning of November. Cunard ship arrivals are also included during this period.

If you are travelling on another cruise line that is in port on the same day as one of the above, you can still use the cruise transfer service. However, you will need to disembark and take a local taxi to your cruise terminal as the bus will not take you directly there. The cruise terminals are spread along a couple of miles of waterfront.

* We are aware that NCL ships may dock at 8am on some dates. When this happens the transfer meet time will be pushed back by an hour and so your arrival into London will also be an hour later.

Luggage allowances and large items

The luggage allowance for our shuttle and tour transfers are up to 2 large cases per passenger (23kg max) plus 2 pieces of hand luggage (10kg max).

Should you wish to bring any mobility aids (wheelchairs or walkers) you MUST contact us in advance to let us know. We will require full dimensions and weight. These items must be able to be folded and stored in the luggage hold. Wheelchairs must be counted as 1 item of your hold luggage.

* Additional charges will be incurred should you bring additional items of luggage or for items weighing more than the maximum weight stated above.


Key features of cruise ship shuttle transfers

  • Guaranteed to operate - there is no minimum group size and will run with only 1 passenger
  • Executive vehicles are used with wifi and uniformed drivers.
  • All Central London hotels, Air bnbs and Heathrow hotels are visited in both directions
  • Luggage allowance per person is 2 items of hold luggage (23kg each) and 2 items of carry- on luggage (10kg each)

London and Heathrow Airport to Southampton direction

  • Maximum of 6 passengers, 4 pickups/drop offs per journey
  • Pickups mid-morning in London and Heathrow
  • Arrival at cruise terminals by 1:00pm - 1:30pm

Southampton to London and Heathrow Airport direction

  • Maximum of 8 passengers, 4 pickups/drop offs per journey
  • Meet n Greet at the Southampton cruise terminal between 0800 – 0830 am
  • Scheduled arrival into Heathrow is approx. 1030am and into central London 11am

Joining the cruise ship transfer service

Pick-up times are provided before you make a booking.

For the transfer to Southampton relax in your Central London or Heathrow hotel reception with your luggage, ready to board when the vehicle arrives.

At Heathrow Airport we cannot pick up from passenger terminals due to parking restrictions. The Sofitel Heathrow Hotel and the Hilton Heathrow Terminal 4 are linked to terminals 5 and 4 respectively. If you are using passenger terminals 2 or 3 you will need to take a hotel bus called the Heathrow Hoppa to one of the supported hotels.

For the transfer from Southampton you will be greeted by a representative as you enter the public area of the cruise terminal. airline style and directed to your vehicle. At Heathrow vehicles will drop you off at both Heathrow hotels and passenger terminals.

£73 one-way, except Central London to Southampton at £75

  • Pay in British Pounds, US Dollars or Euro
  • Guaranteed to operate - no minimum group size
  • Maximum of 8 passengers, 4 pickups/drop offs
  • Executive vehicles with wifi and uniformed drivers
  • If your ship is late docking, we will wait
  • Serves any London city centre hotel/Airbnb
  • Serves Heathrow Airport hotels, terminal drops


Our cruise ship tour transfers are exclusive to cruise customers disembarking or boarding ships at Southampton cruise port. A great opportunity to include world class sightseeing on your journey to or from your cruise ship.

Like the Southampton direct cruise ship shuttle service the tour transfer service is door to door between your cruise ship and your London or Heathrow Airport hotel. The service also drops at Heathrow passenger terminals.

Important note regarding timings for 2021

Due to possible timed embarkation procedures being put in place for 2021, it may be necessary to amend slightly the advertised timings. This is to ensure guests arrive at the cruise terminal at their allocated embarkation time. If timed embarkation policies are introduced, all customers will be contacted prior to the transfer to confirm their specific timings.

Half day tour transfers travelling from London & Heathrow Airport to Southampton

You are met at your Heathrow or Central London hotel early morning and arrive at your cruise ship around early afternoon. You will spend around 2 hours at the sightseeing attraction.

Transfer tour of Stonehenge between London hotels and Heathrow or Gatwick airports


Stop off at Stonehenge en route to Southampton. Spend up to 2 hours visiting the site, entry is included.

Book now from £94pp

Transfer tour of Windsor Castle between London hotels and Heathrow or Gatwick airport


Discover Windsor Castle on your London to Southampton transfer. Entry to the castle is included.

Book now from £105pp

Transfer tour of Winchester between London hotels and Heathrow or Gatwick airports


Explore the city of Winchester as you make your way to Southampton. Cathedral entrance is included.

Book now from £91pp

Full day tour transfers travelling from Southampton to Heathrow Airport & London

Your driver will meet you at the terminal building exit from 08:00am and will accompany you the coach. We plan to leave Southampton by 08:30am. There is a typical walk of about 75 yards to the vehicle where the driver will load your luggage into the hold. In the unlikely event your ship is delayed into port, we will delay our departure.

Drops begin at Heathrow Airport (hotels and passenger terminals) typically around 5:00pm and Central London hotels about one hour later.

Salisbury, Stonehenge and Windsor cruise transfer Southampton

Salisbury, Stonehenge & Windsor

Excursion including the impressive cathedral city of Salisbury, Stonehenge around lunch time then enjoy an afternoon at Windsor and the castle.

Book now from £92pp

Bath and Windsor cruise transfer Southampton

Georgian City of Bath & Windsor

Explore the Georgian city of Bath, take a short walking tour or visit the Roman Baths (extra charge). Continue to Windsor and visit the Windsor Castle.

Book now from £92pp

Cotswolds cruise transfer Southampton

Cotswold Villages & pub lunch

Discover the Cotswolds, a filming location for Downton Abbey. Visit Brampton Village in the popular TV series and have lunch in a 15th century inn.

Book now from £102pp


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

Flexible pre cruise packages are available for you to tailor your own mini break in either London or Southampton. Why not spend time exploring the capital and visiting all the major attractions? Or alternatively journey down to the south coast and enjoy the region before boarding your cruise ship. 

The whole package is created by you.

  • Choose from 3, 4 and 5 star hotels in London or Southampton
  • Choose how many nights at the hotel
  • Private airport transfers between airport and your hotel in London or Southampton 
  • Shared transfers between London hotels and Southampton, private transfers from Southampton hotel to cruise terminal
  • For London stays, a fully guided London sightseeing tour with entry to Tower of London, St.Paul's Cathedral and River Thames cruise
  • Optional sightseeing opportunities as a supplement

These city break packages complement any cruise holiday.

London Tower Bridge

Pre cruise packages in Central London

Tailor your own package with airport transfers, London hotel, London guided tour and cruise ship transfers.

Book now from £386

Stonehenge under 1 hour from Southampton

Pre cruise packages in Southampton

Tailor your own package with airport transfers, Southampton hotel, cruise ship transfers and sightseeing.

Book now from £386

London Eye

Post cruise packages in Central London

Wind down post cruise with transfers from ship to London hotel then airport transfer, choice of London hotel.

Book now from £372

Private taxi and coach transfers between Heathrow & Southampton

Southampton cruise ship taxi transfer

The logistics of the private transfers

With a clear road, London Heathrow to Southampton is under 90 minutes by car. Heathrow sits on a major motorway network allowing you to get on your way quickly after departing the terminal building. However the route can suffer from congestion so it's important you budget adequate contingency time. If there are delays on the motorway then the alternative routes are much slower.

Transferring from Heathrow to Southampton should be pretty smooth if you can avoid the busy commute times of early morning and late afternoon. Also be aware that on summer weekends the route can become congested with locals heading down to the coast.

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 possible delays.

Our comprehensive private transfer service to or from your Southampton cruise ship includes the following:

  • A wide range of vehicles of all sizes catering from single travellers to large groups
  • Prices include all taxes and parking
  • At Heathrow you will be met and greeted at the arrivals hall as you exit into the public area of your terminal building. Our drivers will track your incoming flight so it's not a problem if you are delayed. Larger groups may need to make their own way to the private coach bays just in front of the terminal
  • At Southampton cruise terminals you will 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.

If time is on your side, we offer a range of Southampton hotels located within close proximity to the cruise terminals and with good accessibility to a range of sightseeing options.


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


The cheapest public transport between Southampton and Heathrow Airport

National Express Coach
National Express Coach

National Express, the UK's largest scheduled coach operator, runs numerous daily services between Heathrow and Southampton. Scheduled journey time is from around 2 hours 10 minutes.

There is no direct train service between Heathrow and Southampton. There is a RailAir coach from Heathrow to Woking also operated by National Express from where you can catch the Southampton trains originating in Central London. This option is slower and more expensive than the coach.

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 Heathrow - Southampton coach?

For Heathrow Airport departures the coach starts at Heathrow's Central Bus Station. This is connected to Terminals 2 and 3 by underground walkways. The coach then picks up from outside the arrivals hall at both Terminals 4 and Terminal 5 on the other side of the airport.

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

For Southampton departures the coach station is in the heart of Southampton city centre. There are no shuttles or public transport linking the cruise terminals and the coach station. From Southampton's cruise terminals it is too far to walk with luggage, a local taxi 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 Heathrow Airport's passenger terminals and bus station and also 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 Heathrow 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.


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


Our Southampton map below illustrates the position of the cruise terminals in relation to the city's bus and rail stations. We have a designated page on Southampton's train and coach stations for those using public transport.

Whilst our Southampton cruise terminals page is a useful guide on the city's waterfront.

Southampton city map with cruise terminals and hotels
Every effort is made to keep all our information correct and the advertised prices up to date. We endeavour to be as accurate a source of information as possible but Travellers Toolkits cannot be held responsible for any price differential between our stated prices and those of the companies supplying the product or accuracy of information provided on our sites.