- WHERE TO STAY
- ATTRACTIONS + TICKETS
- PUBLIC TRANSPORT
- CRUISE PORTS
- COVID-19 INFO
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 provide 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 all of them.
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 public transport between Heathrow Airport and Southampton but National Express run a coach service. The coach only runs to the city centre coach station, not any of the four Southampton cruise terminals.
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 1 pm this is your only option
• Most expensive transfer for couples. For groups and families is price competitive
Shared shuttle transfers exclusive to cruise passengers and provides a convenient door to door service between Heathrow (and 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 and drops at all main airport hotels
• If there are more than two in your party between Heathrow and Southampton a private car transfer is cheaper.
Tour and stopover transfers are a variation on the shuttle transfers, but sometimes in larger touring coaches and again exclusive for cruise passengers.
• Time efficient and economic world class sightseeing during your Southampton cruise transfer
• At Heathrow picks up and drops at all main airport hotels. Full days tours from Southampton, half day stopovers to Southampton
• Relatively small extra cost over shuttles offering great value.
National Express coaches are the only direct public transport between Heathrow Airport and Southampton. There is no train service. 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 is narrowly targeted at cruise passengers whose flight leaves Heathrow late afternoon or evening and have the prospect of killing hours of time 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
There is only one company offering shared transfers between Heathrow Airport and Southampton cruise terminals beyond the cruise lines themselves. There is a Heathrow - Southampton scheduled coach service in addition run by National Express but this doesn't run to the port of Southampton, just the coach station in the city centre of Southampton.
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 stopover transfers with sightseeing at Stonehenge, Windsor or Winchester
• In the Southampton to Heathrow direction full day tour transfers with sightseeing at two or three major sights
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These city break packages complement any cruise holiday.
With a clear road, London Heathrow to Southampton is under 90 minutes by car.. The route can suffer from road congestion so 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 Heathrow should be pretty smooth though 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 can make a proposal for all needs, whether a large group, single traveller, mobility scooters or stopovers and special requests.
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.
National Express, the UK's largest scheduled coach operator runs up to nineteen services daily direct 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 options is both slower and more expensive then 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.
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 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 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.
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.
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
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
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 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.
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.