How to Get From Gatwick Airport to Southampton Cruise Port – Options Explored


If you are taking a cruise from Southampton cruise port and flying into London Gatwick airport, you may be wondering what is the best way to make the journey to the port.

Luckily, London Gatwick airport is one of the most convenient airports when it comes to cruising out of Southampton and there are multiple options when it comes to making the journey.

How do You Get From Gatwick Airport to Southampton Cruise Port?

The best way to get from London Gatwick Airport to Southampton Cruise Port is by train or taxi. The train takes as little as 2 hours at a cost of £17/$23 if pre-booked. Taxies can range from £120/$160 – £200/$260 and take between 1.5 – 2 hours in typical traffic.

In this post, we will explore all options for getting from Gatwick Airport to the Port of Southampton, we will look at how much each option costs and the time that it takes on average to make the journey, as well as any other things you should note before making your decision.

TrainTaxiBus
Typical Cost£17/$23 (Pre-booked)£120/$160 – £200/$260£24 ($30)
Average Time Taken2 Hours (Direct Train)1.5 – 2 Hours (Good Traffic)6 Hours
Other NotesWill require an additional Taxi/Walk from Southampton station to Southampton cruise port
Gatwick Airport to Southampton Cruise Port Transport Options

How Far Is It From Gatwick Airport to the Southampton Cruise Port?

The distance between London Gatwick Airport and the Southampton Cruise Port is approximately 90 miles (or 145 kilometers) by road. However, by train, the distance is shorter at 57 miles (or 92 kilometers).

The journey can take anywhere from 1.5 hours to 3 hours.

Taking the Train From Gatwick Airport to Southampton Cruise Port

Taking the train from Gatwick Airport to Southampton is relatively easy. There are direct trains, however these are usually once per hour. There are other routes that include one or two changes.

Although the train can be an easy option, it’s important to remember that they can be busy at peak times and the majority of UK trains don’t have adequate luggage space, so this may not be a good option for people with more than one suitcase per person.

gatwick airport train station
Photo: Sunil060902

Where is Gatwick Train Station in The Airport?

The Gatwick airport train station is located within the airport building in the South terminal, shown above. If flying into the North terminal, there is a free shuttle train that needs to be taken to get to the South terminal, in order to get to the train station.

Train Routes and Stations

There are multiple ways to get to Southampton Cruise Port from Gatwick Airport by train.

The fastest possible train route would get you to Southampton in around 2 hours, but the slowest route could take you closer to 3 hours.

Below is a selection of routes from Gatwick Airport to Southampton Train Station. To find train times I usually use The Train Line website as seen below.

Gatwick Airport to Southampton Cruise Port Trains

There are over 20 trains per day that depart from London Gatwick train station to Southampton. There is usually one direct train per hour and multiple indirect options per day.

The first train departs at 4:56AM, and the last one departs at 9:19PM. Trains run all week.

It’s important to be aware that engineering works often take place on Sundays in the UK and if this is the case, the train journey may be replaced by bus, which can take considerably longer.

Train tickets are able to be used on replacement buses if they are used.

Prices/Tickets

Prices can vary depending on the time of day, route, or class you decide to take. It can also depend on the season and if the time is peak or off-peak.

Ticket prices range in price from £17/$20 to £40/$50+. The trains do have a first-class available, but I’d argue that this isn’t worth the extra cost. The only real benefit of first-class seating is a higher chance of being able to get a seat if the train is busy.

To get the cheapest train ticket possible, try doing the following:

  • Booking Tickets in advance (Generally the further in advance, the cheaper the tickets will be). You don’t have to book for a specific train to secure the discounts just for a specific day.
  • Buy group Tickets (If you are travelling in a group of 4 or over, you may be able to buy a group ticket at a slightly reduced rate. The saving is usually 1/3, but the group must travel together at all times).
  • Use Railcards (If you are from the UK, consider using or getting a railcard. These will allow you to save a fixed amount on the journey, usually 1/3).
Benefits of Taking The TrainDrawbacks of Taking The Train
Can be cheap if pre-bookedPossible cancellations/Delays
Good option if travelling aloneCan be busy
Reliable

The train will only take you as far as Southampton train station. From here a taxi or other mode of transport is required to get to the port.

How to Get From Southampton Train Station to Southampton Cruise Port

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.

Taking a Taxi From Gatwick Airport to Southampton Cruise Port

There are many options when it comes to getting a taxi from Gatwick Airport to Southampton Cruise Port. A number of different companies operate this route.

There are multiple routes that the taxi may take depending on the time of day or the taxi driver’s preference. In the image below from Google Maps, the route heads to the M25, which circles London, before heading down to the coast. All options take a similar amount of time.

gatwick airport to southampton cruise port
Image: Google Maps

Taxi Rank at Gatwick Airport

At Gatwick Airport, there is a large taxi rank and you will find a range of car styles with ranging capacity. Some taxis do have a limit on the number of pieces of luggage taken per person, so make sure you research this ahead of time if you are worried about having too much luggage.

A standard-sized saloon car can usually transport one to three people and take three large pieces of luggage, in addition to hand luggage.

If you have more people, it may be a good idea to get a taxi minibus that holds up to eight people. The minibus also includes eight suitcases per vehicle. You will find taxi minibusses at the taxi rank at the airport, but if you do require one, I’d usually recommend you pre-book, as there can be a long wait times for larger cars.

taxi gatwick airport to southampton cruise port

Benefits of Taking a Taxi

  • Less Time Taken Compared to Other Methods. The journey time from Gatwick Airport to Southampton Cruise Port can be as little as 1 hour and 40 minutes.
  • Your Taxi Will Wait. If you’ve pre-booked a taxi and your flight is delayed, your taxi driver will be able to adjust their plans, so that they can pick you up at the right time.
  • No Extra Fees. All taxi prices include any taxes and parking fees. In the UK, it is appreciated if you tip the taxi driver, although this isn’t expected. An average tip would be between 10-20% of the taxi fare.

How Much Does a Taxi from Gatwick Airport to Southampton Cruise Port Cost?

The price of a taxi from Gatwick Airport to Southampton Cruise Port will cost between £120 ($160) to £200 ($260). This price may increase on certain days or certain times and taxies should always be pre-booked to secure the best price.

Small Car (1-3 Passengers)Large Car (1-5 Passengers) Minibus (1-8 Passengers)
Gatwick Airport to Southampton Cruise Port Taxi Estimated Price$160 (£122)$180 (£137)$210 (£157)
Gatwick Airport to Southampton Cruise Port Taxi Cost

While the prices may be higher than taking a train or a bus the journey is much more convenient. If you are travelling as a group it often doesn’t work out much more expensive to get a taxi.

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 Gatwick Airport to Southampton Cruise Port

Getting an Uber from Gatwick Airport to Southampton Cruise Port will cost a minimum of £94/$125 and take around 1 hour 40 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 pre-book 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.

Hiring a Car

Hiring a car for a day to drive from Gatwick airport to Southampton cruise port is an option. Cars range between £100/$130 – £150/$200 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 isn’t much cheaper to rent a car than to get a taxi. A taxi is much easier so I’d usually suggest this. 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.

gatwick to southampton hire a car

The prices above are for drivers aged 30 and over.

Taking a Bus From Gatwick Airport to Southampton Cruise Port

The cheapest option is to get a bus/coach. The most popular company to offer this route is National Express, although there are other alternatives available.

All National Express buses offer bathroom facilities, free WiFi, power sockets, and LOTS of space for luggage, but the journey by bus takes a LONG time.

If you do decide to take the bus, you could realistically spend 6 hours making what is a 2.5 hour journey by car.

bus gatwick to southampton national express
Image: National Express

Bus services are limited and the bus will take you to the coach station, not the cruise port, so an additional taxi or walk would be required to get to the port.

Bus Prices

Ticket prices for the journey will start at approximately £24/$30, but are often higher than this.

I am usually a big fan of taking the bus, but to get from Gatwick Airport to Southampton Cruise Port, I would recommend that the majority of people take the train over the bus.

Benefits of Taking a Shuttle Bus/CoachDrawbacks of Taking a Shuttle Bus/Coach
Good when traveling aloneShared with other people
Reliable (Many options to choose from)Takes much longer than a taxi or the train
Cheap

To Conclude:

The easiest but most expensive option to get from Gatwick Airport to Southampton Cruise Port is to take a taxi.

Taking a train is relatively easy & inexpensive and is usually a better option than taking a bus, as the bus takes a long time.

It’s worth remembering that taking a train or a bus will only get you as far as Southampton Station. From there, you would still have to get to the cruise port terminal that you are scheduled to depart from, which usually involves another taxi ride or a walk.

Personal Recommendations:

Below are my personal recommendations. I would recommend the majority of people make the journey on the train, unless travelling in a group of 3 or more, where the cost of a taxi isn’t much more expensive than getting the train.

Passengers TravelingTransport Recommendation from Gatwick Airport to Southampton Cruise Port
1 Person Train
2 PeopleTrain
3 PeopleTrain or Taxi
4+ PeopleTaxi

Alternatives:

An alternative may be to fly directly into Southampton airport. There are limited flights to the airport and not all countries have routes to Southampton airport, but if the place you are traveling from does this can be a much easier option.

To learn more about the journey from Southampton Airport to Southampton Cruise Port, check out this post next:

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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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