Heathrow Airport to Southampton Cruise Port: Transport Guide


If you are taking a cruise from Southampton and flying into Heathrow airport you may be wondering how to get between the two destinations. Luckily, there are lots of options available which range in price and travel time.

The best way to get to Southampton Cruise Port from Heathrow Airport is to take a shuttle bus, train, or taxi. Shuttle buses and trains are available for those on a budget ranging from ($23-$100 per person). Taxies are also available ranging from ($140-$189) per car.

In this post, we will look at the different options that are available, comparing the costs of each, and looking at the travel time of each.

How Long Does it Take to Get From Heathrow Airport to Southampton Cruise Port?

Depending on the mode of transport, it can take anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes to reach your Southampton Cruise Port from Heathrow Airport.

Most forms of transportation will take approximately 2 hours.

TrainTaxiShuttle Bus
Cost of Journey from Heathrow Airport to Southampton Cruise Port$100 Peak (Cheaper if off peak or pre booked)$140-$189$23
Time Taken on Average2 Hours (Fastest Possible)1.5 Hours1.5 Hours

Take The Train from Heathrow Airport to Southampton Cruise Port

There are no direct trains to Southampton Central from Heathrow Airport, so all journeys will have a minimum of one change. Many journeys will require more than one change and there are a number of different routes that go between the two train stations.

The below is a very common route between the two stations.

train london heathrow to southampton cruise port
Photo: The Train Line

Some routes such as the below do include the London Underground (tube) like below which is not easy to navigate with luggage. I would avoid these at all costs.

London Underground Heathrow to Southampton
Photo: The Train Line

On a good day, assuming no cancellations or delays, the train should only take about 2 hours and 4 minutes to arrive at Southampton Central.

Note: The train will take you to Southampton Central train station but this isn’t Southampton Cruise Port. The journey from the train station to port takes around 10 minutes by car or around 25 minutes if you plan on walking. 

The best way to get from Southampton Central Station to Southampton Cruise Port is to get a taxi, take a bus or walk. The journey by Taxi costs around £10/$13 and takes 10 minutes. The walk takes around 25 minutes and is relatively easy if the weather is dry.

If you don’t have a lot of luggage and the weather is okay walking can be a good option. I often do this and have always found it to be easy, the route is well signposted but I’d recommend you download google maps.

The price of a train ticket for this journey can cost almost $100 for one person. It’s possible to reduce this DRAMATICALLY by traveling out of peak times or by pre-booking train tickets ahead of time.

If you need to travel at peak time or have multiple people traveling with you, a taxi may be a better option.

Another option is RailAir. This is a coach that takes you from Heathrow Airport to the Woking station. At this station, you can take the Southampton trains that originated from the Central London station.

Benefits of Taking The TrainDrawbacks of Taking The Train
Can be cheap if pre bookedPossible cancellations/Delays
Good option if travelling aloneCan be busy
ReliableNeed to change trains multiple times

Taking a Taxi from Heathrow Airport to Southampton Cruise Port

Taking a taxi is the easiest and quickest option but can be expensive. You can get to Southampton in as little as 90 minutes if the roads are clear. If the traffic is bad this could take considerably longer.

If you are a large group, it might be worthwhile hiring a private bus or mini bus as this can work out cheaper per person.

Prebooking a taxi is always a good idea and can save you a considerable amount of money.

When booking the taxi, it’s a good idea to give the taxi company your flight number instead of a fixed time, so that they can monitor your incoming flight and pick you up at the right time.

This also means that there are no extra fees if your flight is late. In fact, all taxes and parking rates are included in the taxi price. A taxi from Heathrow Airport to Southampton Cruise Port will start at around $140 (or £123) for the car. 

Small Car (1-3 Passengers)Large Car (1-5 Passengers) Minibus (1-8 Passengers)
Heathrow Airport to Southampton Cruise Port Taxi Estimated Price$140 (£123)$160 (£123)$189 (£143)

I’d recommend getting a quote from a company like Airport Pickups London.

Benefits of Taking a TaxiDrawbacks of Taking a Taxi
Pick you up directly from airportMotion sickness
No changingCan be expensive if travelling alone
Could be slow if traffic is bad

Taking an Uber from Heathrow Airport to Southampton Cruise Port

Getting an Uber from Heathrow Airport to Southampton Cruise Port will cost $140 and take around 90 minutes if the roads are clear.

The prices of Ubers are similar to the price of pre booking a taxi so I would usually recommend you prebook a taxi if this is something you’d like to do. That said if you haven’t pre-booked getting a taxi can be expensive and an Uber can be a cheaper option.

getting an uber heathrow airport to southampton cruise port
Photo: Uber

Hiring a Car

Hiring a car for a day to drive from Heathrow airport to Southampton cruise port is an option. Cars range between £139/$184 – £200/$265 for a day and companies like Enterprise provide shuttle buses at either end.

I’d recommend using a website like RentalCars.com to find a car.

That said, it is more expensive to hire a car for the day than it is to get a taxi so I’d strongly suggest a taxi. If you are staying in Southampton for a couple of days before your cruise though, it may be a good idea to rent a car.

rental cars heathrow to southampton

Taking a Shuttle Bus/Coach from Heathrow Airport to Southampton Cruise Port

If price is your main consideration, the cheapest option is usually a shared shuttle bus.

The most well known, busiest, and largest scheduled coach operator in the UK is National Express. They typically run anywhere from 6 to 19 services daily between Heathrow Airport and Southampton Central.

National Express Heathrow to Southampton
Photo: National Express

The trip usually takes around 2 hours and 10 minutes. Services start at $23 USD (£18).

I’ve used National Express on a number of occasions and have always been very impressed. They’re on time, you sit down, put your headphones in/take a nap and taadaa, you’ve arrived!

NOTE: The coach will only take you as far as Southampton Central Station, and you will still need to get from Southampton Central Station to Southampton Cruise Terminals. The easiest way to do this is by taking a taxi. 

coach transfer southampton to london heathrow
Benefits of Taking a Shuttle Bus/CoachDrawbacks of Taking a Shuttle Bus/Coach
Incredibly CheapShared with other people
Reliable (Many options to choose from)Could take longer if bad traffic
Good when traveling aloneMotion sickness

Shared Transfers

Another option that is available through the London Toolkit is shared cruise ship transfers. They offer transfers between the months of April to November and these can be a good option if you want to take a taxi but are traveling alone.

The best part about this service is that the shuttle takes you directly to the Southampton cruise port terminal. It should take approximately 2 hours for them to get you to your destination. Prices start at about $98.34 USD (£76). The downside is that the transfers go from Heathrow hotels not directly from Heathrow airport so another taxi/shuttle would be required if you’re not staying in a hotel at Heathrow.

Are There Other Options Available?

While public transportation is certainly one of the best options available, there are other options that may work better for you.

If you are a confident driver you could lease a car to drive from Heathrow Airport to Southampton cruise port. The journey should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes as long as traffic is clear and there are no other problems. 

I wouldn’t recommend this option for the majority of people, as the drive isn’t a particularly pleasant one. I’ve been driving in the UK for almost 10 years but would still be nervous about this journey, let alone after having been on a flight.

The recommended route, if you did decide to drive, would be to:

  • Drive along Wigeon Rd. and Wayfarer Rd. for 0.6 miles or 0.97 km (3 minutes).
  • Take M3 to A27 in Hampshire, and take exit 14 from M3 for 58.5 miles or 94.15 km (55 minutes).
  • Follow A33 to Ocean Cruise Terminal Berth 46-49, which is about 4.5 miles or 7.24 km (15 minutes).

Recommendations

Below are my personal recommendations. I usually use the shuttle bus transfers such as national express or on occasion use the train. As this isn’t the easiest train journey I would recommend the bus in most situations.

When you have 4 or more passengers, there isn’t any price saving by getting a shuttle bus over a taxi so I’d recommend going for a taxi as it’s easier and more direct.

Passengers TravelingTransport Recommendation from Heathrow Airport to Southampton Cruise Port
1 Person Shuttle Bus or Train
2 PeopleShuttle Bus or Train
3 PeopleShuttle Bus or Taxi
4+ PeopleTaxi

Alternative Airports

Another alternative could be flying to a different airport.

Southampton does have it’s own airport, although there are not as many airlines that fly into the airport as Heathrow. Southampton cruise port is only a short journey from Southampton airport.

Flying into another London airport such as Gatwick could also be a good option. There are direct trains from Gatwick to Southampton which makes the journey by train easier. Gatwick is also closer to Southampton by Heathrow by around 30 miles.

uk train heathrow to southampton

To Conclude

There are many options for getting to Southampton Cruise Port from the London Heathrow Airport. 

If price is your primary concern a budget-friendly transfer or shuttle bus is the best option. If you are interested in the quickest and easiest option, then a taxi might be a better choice.

Alternatives:

An alternative may to be fly into London Gatwick which is closer to Southampton and has direct train links. To learn more about this journey, check out the post below next:

Want to learn how to cruise well on a budget? Start here: How to Cruise For Less

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Emma Le Teace

Hey, I'm Emma, an award-winning cruise blogger, and YouTuber. I share cruise tips, tours, and videos on this website to help you master cruising on a budget. You can learn more here: About Me.

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