Southampton cruise terminals

Southampton has four cruise terminals. If you are departing Southampton by ship and arriving from elsewhere in the UK you have several options.

Firstly, you will probably take a train or coach (bus) to Southampton, and then you will take a taxi for the last two miles to the right ferry terminal. The taxi will cost around £6.

Southampton by train 

Southampton's rail station is called Southampton Central, or simply Southampton. 

From London 

From London the fastest and easiest route is from Waterloo station. Journey time is from 74 minutes depending on stopping pattern and there are multiple hourly trains. Fares are not cheap, at £36 single, but if you are returning either the same day or within one month, you can get a return fare for only a few pounds more. In addition, Groupsave fares are available, whereby 3 or 4 passengers travel for the price of two.

A cheaper route runs from London Victoria station, at around £10 cheaper, but it's cheaper for a reason, taking a full hour longer than the Waterloo service.  

From the airports 

The London Victoria train runs via Gatwick airport, making it very convenient for those connecting immediately from a flight from Gatwick to Southampton.

From Heathrow airport there are no direct rail links to Southampton, but a number of options, firstly the National Express coach (www.nationalexpress.com) to Woking station, which runs half-hourly from Heathrow Central bus station (for terminals 1 & 3) via Heathrow Terminal 5, taking 45 minutes to reach Woking from T1/T3 and 30 minutes from T5. £10.50 single fare, pay on board. From Woking you can then pick up a train on the Waterloo-Southampton line, at a cost of £21.90 single. Journey time from Woking is from 49 minutes.

The second option is the bus link from Heathrow to Reading, (http://www.railair.com/), at a cost of £15 single (online, £18 onboard) and then the train from Reading to Southampton, which costs £18.30 and takes around one hour. 

Note that the coach is cheaper and easier - see below. 

The tube into Waterloo from Heathrow is not really recommended, since it's a slow, difficult journey with luggage.

From Stansted or Luton airports a train into London, then a tube journey to Waterloo before the journey to Southampton would be the best option.

Other cities

Southampton is connected by rail to Cardiff, calling at Newport, Bristol, Bath, Westbury, Salisbury, along others en route. Connect at Westbury or Salisbury for trains to Devon and Cornwall, and Newport or Cardiff for Wales and Hereford.

Other direct connections include Birmingham and Manchester for connections to northern and central England.

Local trains run to Portsmouth and other nearby towns. There is also a seaside line that extends as far to the east as Hastings, albeit very slowly.

 Check train times at http://www.nationalrail.co.uk

Coach 

Perhaps the best way from Heathrow to Southampton is via coach. Check times at www.nationalexpress.com. Coaches run from Heathrow Central (T1/T3) to Terminal 4 to Terminal 5 in around 2 hours 15 minutes (1 hr 45 minutes from Terminal 5). £18 one way. 

From Gatwick National Express also run coaches, but here the train is generally faster, and cheaper, except on Sundays when no direct trains run and the coach is cheaper and easier, if not any faster.

From central London and from Heathrow area hotels (but not Heathrow airport itself) you can try the combined shuttle + Stonehenge bus. This must be booked in advance and will pick up from your hotel. The cost, £45, is obviously more than a normal coach, but it does take you all the way to the cruise terminal. http://www.internationalfriends.co.uk...

From points north, as well as to Cornwall, National Express run coaches, which will compete well on price with the train, but not, generally, on speed or frequency.

 Air

Southampton Airport is an airport a few miles north of Southampton, it is perhaps the most convenient way of reaching Southampton from Scotland and northern England, with numerous routes provided by flyBe, who along with Eastern Airways, cover many destinations in the UK and beyond. Southampton Airport railway station is adjacent to the airport and is on the Waterloo-London railway, with very fast connections to London and a short hop to Southampton itself. There are also services to the Channel Islands, and a few flights by Thomas Cook, as well as Air France, providing flights to France as an alternative to the ferry.

 Ferry

Red Funnel provide ferries to Cowes in the Isle of Wight. From Portsmouth, 20 miles southeast by train, there are ferry connections to France and Spain; Poole, an hour by train provides more options.