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Southampton to Gatwick


Bdnclc
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For those that flown out of Gatwick did you use ship transfer, taxi or car service on disembarkation?  From what I have read appears about two hour travel distance, how early of a flight did you schedule?  I have scheduled ship transfer but now starting to question that decision.  Ship is arrive at 5am and have a flight option for 1:30pm otherwise would stay another day for here need to connect.

 

And those that have arrived in London prior to cruise, how did you get to cruise terminal from London?  

 

Thanks!

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Princess allows flights from 7.5 hours after docking or later, so you are within that and can book a Princess transfer if you wish.  Other options are train, National Express coach bus or private transfers.  Your choice. 

 

Same options for London to Southampton.  Many more discussions found on the London port forum about transferring.

 

This site is also extremely useful:

https://www.londontoolkit.com/travel/gatwick_southampton.htm

Edited by cherylandtk
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We did something similar recently except our flight was out of LHR.  I was also concerned because our flight left at 12:35 and it was a weekday (Thursday) putting us in the middle of rush hour traffic.  We were assigned one of the earliest groups getting off the Crown Princess (I believe our group got off at 6:30) and we also had Princess transfers.  We did not do self disembarkation.  We were off the ship very quickly, gathered our luggage and went to the waiting buses.  Ours filled up quickly and we left around 7:15 and were at LHR by 9:00.  I'd worried we might miss our plane with all the reports of how bad traffic could be, but we were fortunate and had plenty of time to spare.  We were extra fortunate in that our plane was only about half full and our party of 3 each got a row to ourselves.  One of the best flights ever!   : )

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Ships' arrival time (5am is the same as most ships ) is pretty irrelevant, because of formalities & logistics.

 

Unassisted disembarkation usually starts around 7am, with regular disembarkation from 7.30.

Windango's experience of earlier assisted disembarkation and ship's transfer bus departing at 7.15 is unusual, but would help considerably if it applies to your ship.

It's well worth asking your cruise line the earliest flight recommended for ship's transfer buses  (which should be readily available, and is somewhere around 12.30 - 1pm for LHR and 1pm - 1.30pm for LGW ) and, if possible, the earliest assisted disembarkation time. Unassisted time varies according to circumstances on the day.

 

So..............................

 

- For ship's transfer bus, ask your cruise line for the timings.

 

https://www.nationalexpress.com/en  

National Express coach times aren't convenient. You won't make the 06.20, and the 09.10 (scheduled to arrive at 12 noon) is cutting it way too fine.

 

-  https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ 

There are no direct trains on sundays, and you'll want to avoid those which involve a change. And most rail maintenance is carried out on sundays so a risk that part of your journey might be by rail-replacement bus between affected stations.

So if your date is a sunday, don't travel by rail.

Which at least means you don't have to wade through the complications below :classic_rolleyes:

 

But monday through saturday there are direct trains from Southampton central station at  08.09 (arrives 10.08) and at 09.13 (arrives 11.08). Even for the 09.13, I'd advise early unassisted disembarkation to avoid the possibility of lines for disembarkation, terminal formalities, or taxis.

The taxi ride to Southampton central station is 5 to 10 minutes, and £7 to £10, depending on your ship's cruise terminal.

Gatwick rail station is inside South Terminal, add a few minutes for the free transfer if your flight is from North Terminal. 

 

Train fares are complicated, but worth persevering.

Standard train fare is around £35, but if you buy advance tickets - available from about 8 weeks out - it's only around £12. (check the trains for, say, 8th November to see those cheap fares) Those advance tickets are only good for the train that you booked - if you miss it your tickets are trash and you'd have to pay the walk-up fare for the next train. 

Alternatively, such are the ridiculous complications of train fares,  you could book the direct 07.12 (you probably won't make it) for which the standard fare is only about  £17. That ticket doesn't require you to catch the 07.12 - it can also be used on either the  08.09 or the 09.13. So booking the  07.12 gives you a good balance between cost & flexibility.

 

- Private transfer

www.smithsforairports.com

www.westquaycars.com

www.aquacars.co.uk

and there are others. 

All are frequently recommended by CC members. And all are Southampton-based, so no risk that the driver will be caught in traffic miles away when heading to the ship.

A ballpark figure for ship to Gatwick would be just north of £100 for a sedan. 

Just last saturday we drove from Gatwick in 1hr 40, same as Mom33. Weekday mornings are more fraught, but many drivers take a cross-country route to Gatwick (about 2 hours) to avoid the risk of logjams on the motorway system.

 

-------------------------------------------------

 

For central London to Southampton, consider

 

-  Direct train from London Waterloo station (broadly the same fares and advance purchase discount with restrictions) but more frequent service. Journey time around 90 minutes.

(there's also a direct hourly train service from London Victoria train station, but it's a roundabout route & takes 2.5 hours)

 

- Direct bus from  London Victoria coach station. Usually under £10, hourly service but you're strongly recommended to pre-book. Journey time about 2 hrs 15 mins. 

 

- Ship's transfer bus. Also from Victoria Coach Station. Takes you direct to the ship, avoiding a £7 to £10 taxi fare, but at $60 to $100 (depending on cruise line) it's really awful value - for - money.

 

Your choice of those above might depend on the location of your central London hotel.

 

- Private transfer. The above-noted operators, but add London-based operators like www.blackberrycars.com 

Ballpark about £125 for a sedan.

 

- if you want London hotel to ship coach transfer with a visit to Stonehenge (admission included) en-route, International Friends offer a well-reviewed service https://www.internationalfriends.co.uk/white/londontk/london-heathrow-to-southampton-via-stonehenge.html

That website is incredibly useful on other pages for logistics in and around London & Southampton.

But be aware that the private transfers offered on that site are not best value

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

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I hate driving to Gatwick, or anywhere in that part of the UK. Awful drive, even at weekends.

 

Even just leaving Southampton and getting on the M27 and then the M3 can be an utter nightmare.

 

I know, my wife is from Southampton.

 

Get the cruise transport and give yourself enough time, and relax.

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3 hours ago, DarrenM said:

I hate driving to Gatwick, or anywhere in that part of the UK. Awful drive, even at weekends.

 

Even just leaving Southampton and getting on the M27 and then the M3 can be an utter nightmare.

 

I know, my wife is from Southampton.

 

Get the cruise transport and give yourself enough time, and relax.

 

 

Not awful all the time Darren, and certainly not at weekends.

Drove So'ton to Gatwick a couple of saturdays ago, and back last saturday. Sweet as a nut both ways on the motorway loop as per my previous post.

 

At "difficult" times like commuter-time on weekdays I drive the cross-country route, same as many private transfer operators -  no getting trapped behind an accident  & lots of options.

But not a great route for coaches. Since cross-country is slow by ships' transfer coaches they use the motorway loop, where they face the same traffic as private transfers which use the motorways. 

And the cost of a private transfer for two is about the same as ships' over-priced coach transfers, so this is certainly one journey where I'd suggest not using ships' transfer coaches.

 

With the OP's flight time it's very much a choice between the train & a private transfer.

 

Just MHO of course, but I'm a Southampton lad and have driven ships' transfer coaches, and for our own frequent flights from Gatwick we drive for short holidays, and use private transfers for longer times when airport parking charges outweigh the transfer fare.

 

JB  :classic_smile:

 

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John Bull would you be willing to share what private transfer you have used?  I have flown to Gatwick once before and works great for the cities I connect through.  Plus I really dislike flying Air Canada.  Westjet would also allow cut out a two hour drive after flying.  I was thinking private transfer work would be speedier than waiting to get on a coach.  Quote for transfer is 75 Cdn each and there is two of us.  

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14 hours ago, Bdnclc said:

John Bull would you be willing to share what private transfer you have used?  I have flown to Gatwick once before and works great for the cities I connect through.  Plus I really dislike flying Air Canada.  Westjet would also allow cut out a two hour drive after flying.  I was thinking private transfer work would be speedier than waiting to get on a coach.  Quote for transfer is 75 Cdn each and there is two of us.  

 

As JB stated, there is direct, relatively quick train service from Southampton Central to Gatwick, which has always been our choice.

 

As for C$75/ea; that seems unreasonably low for a private transfer from Southampton to Gatwick, and would get me worried.  Perhaps they meant UKP 75/ea ?

 

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38 minutes ago, scottbee said:

 

 

 

As for C$75/ea; that seems unreasonably low for a private transfer from Southampton to Gatwick, and would get me worried.  Perhaps they meant UKP 75/ea ?

 

 

British transfer operators would quote in sterling, so I'm guessing either the quote was £150 sterling or Bdnclc has converted a sterling price into CAD.

£150 is on the high side.

But 2 x CAD75 converts to £92 which is on the low side.:classic_huh:

 

Mebbe Bdnclc knows more than we do about the Brexit negotiations :classic_wink:

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

Edited by John Bull
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The 75 is converted Canadian I reviewed my invoice summary.  Everything is in Canadian dollars.  Based on things have read does seem low.  Sorry can’t solve your Brexit issues.  From a distance quite amusing to watch Boris navigate these muddy waters.  Though I wouldn’t be offended if the exchange rate can come down some more by time this trip comes up.  This morning trading at 1.62.  
 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 10/7/2019 at 3:11 AM, John Bull said:

Ships' arrival time (5am is the same as most ships ) is pretty irrelevant, because of formalities & logistics.

 

Unassisted disembarkation usually starts around 7am, with regular disembarkation from 7.30.

Windango's experience of earlier assisted disembarkation and ship's transfer bus departing at 7.15 is unusual, but would help considerably if it applies to your ship.

It's well worth asking your cruise line the earliest flight recommended for ship's transfer buses  (which should be readily available, and is somewhere around 12.30 - 1pm for LHR and 1pm - 1.30pm for LGW ) and, if possible, the earliest assisted disembarkation time. Unassisted time varies according to circumstances on the day.

 

So..............................

 

- Private transfer

www.smithsforairports.com

www.westquaycars.com

www.aquacars.co.uk

and there are others. 

All are frequently recommended by CC members. And all are Southampton-based, so no risk that the driver will be caught in traffic miles away when heading to the ship.

A ballpark figure for ship to Gatwick would be just north of £100 for a sedan. 

Just last saturday we drove from Gatwick in 1hr 40, same as Mom33. Weekday mornings are more fraught, but many drivers take a cross-country route to Gatwick (about 2 hours) to avoid the risk of logjams on the motorway system.

 

 

 

 

Hi John,

 

Thank you for all of your help in this forum and elsewhere. 

 

We're arriving back into Southampton with a 6 a.m. arrival time on a Wednesday next April, and I'm trying to figure out at what time I should arrange the private car to pick us up for transport to Heathrow.  We will wish to get off the boat as quickly as possible so can self-disembark.  I found your post above of interest in that you say that arrival time doesn't matter much.  I'm wondering, based on your experience, what would be a logical time to arrange pickup if we self-disembark as early as possible.  We are fast walkers, if that matters.  🙂 

 

Thank you!

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1 hour ago, JMB27 said:

 

Hi John,

 

Thank you for all of your help in this forum and elsewhere. 

 

We're arriving back into Southampton with a 6 a.m. arrival time on a Wednesday next April, and I'm trying to figure out at what time I should arrange the private car to pick us up for transport to Heathrow.  We will wish to get off the boat as quickly as possible so can self-disembark.  I found your post above of interest in that you say that arrival time doesn't matter much.  I'm wondering, based on your experience, what would be a logical time to arrange pickup if we self-disembark as early as possible.  We are fast walkers, if that matters.  🙂 

 

Thank you!

 

 Hi, number 27,

 

Southampton is a reliable port in all weathers, well-sheltered. Most ships aim to arrive 4.30 to 5.30am and if they arrive vaguely on-time, no worries.

With a few exceptions unassisted disembarkation starts around 6.45 to 7.15am, with regular disembarkation from 7.30am. 

The first to disembark will be out of the cruise terminal within 10 - 15 minutes after stepping off the ship, those who disembark later might take op to 30 minutes due to crowding, a line for immigration (depending on ship's itinerary), and a  possible scrum for luggage. Customs is a walk-through unless a customs officer decides to pick on you.

 

You really need to know the flight times available, cos that will determine when you need to be off the ship & into a car.

Drive time to LHR on a weekday is around 2  to 2.5 hours but varies a lot, sometimes for no obvious reason.

You will want to be at the airport 90 minutes before scheduled flight time

So an 11.30am flight is the earliest you should aim for - but a later flight if available would be sensible & give you a decent window for an exceptional delay.

 

What flight times do you have?

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, John Bull said:

 

 Hi, number 27,

 

Southampton is a reliable port in all weathers, well-sheltered. Most ships aim to arrive 4.30 to 5.30am and if they arrive vaguely on-time, no worries.

With a few exceptions unassisted disembarkation starts around 6.45 to 7.15am, with regular disembarkation from 7.30am. 

The first to disembark will be out of the cruise terminal within 10 - 15 minutes after stepping off the ship, those who disembark later might take op to 30 minutes due to crowding, a line for immigration (depending on ship's itinerary), and a  possible scrum for luggage. Customs is a walk-through unless a customs officer decides to pick on you.

 

You really need to know the flight times available, cos that will determine when you need to be off the ship & into a car.

Drive time to LHR on a weekday is around 2  to 2.5 hours but varies a lot, sometimes for no obvious reason.

You will want to be at the airport 90 minutes before scheduled flight time

So an 11.30am flight is the earliest you should aim for - but a later flight if available would be sensible & give you a decent window for an exceptional delay.

 

What flight times do you have?

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

 

 

 

Hi JB,

 

Thanks for your kind and helpful message.  Our flights are already arranged, as we took the latest possible for us at 1:25 pm.  Sounds like we should be in good shape for that, which makes me feel greatly relieved - thank you!  The bit I'm trying to arrange now is just what time to ask Smith's or the like to pick us up.  I had thought 8 a.m. based on a 6 a.m. arrival at the port, but it appears that possibly we could even arrange for it earlier?  

 

Cheers,

Ms. 27  🙂 

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Just now, JMB27 said:

 

Hi JB,

 

Thanks for your kind and helpful message.  Our flights are already arranged, as we took the latest possible for us at 1:25 pm.  Sounds like we should be in good shape for that, which makes me feel greatly relieved - thank you!  The bit I'm trying to arrange now is just what time to ask Smith's or the like to pick us up.  I had thought 8 a.m. based on a 6 a.m. arrival at the port, but it appears that possibly we could even arrange for it earlier?  

 

Cheers,

Ms. 27  🙂 

 

 

Yes, no worries with a 1.25 pm flight.:classic_smile:

 

Cars usually arrive at the cruise terminals 10 to 15 minutes early.

If you want to disembark unassisted, book a car for 7.30.

(anyone who disembarks unassisted after regular disembarkation has started is very unpopular with everyone else).

If you choose regular disembarkation, an 8 am or 8.30 slot should be fine. If you're allocated a later slot ask at Guest Relation for an earlier slot, citing onward travel arrangements. 

 

Keep Smith's (or whoever's) phone number handy in case you get notice of a late change of disembarking time.

 

JB :classic_smile:

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7 minutes ago, John Bull said:

 

 

Yes, no worries with a 1.25 pm flight.:classic_smile:

 

Cars usually arrive at the cruise terminals 10 to 15 minutes early.

If you want to disembark unassisted, book a car for 7.30.

(anyone who disembarks unassisted after regular disembarkation has started is very unpopular with everyone else).

If you choose regular disembarkation, an 8 am or 8.30 slot should be fine. If you're allocated a later slot ask at Guest Relation for an earlier slot, citing onward travel arrangements. 

 

Keep Smith's (or whoever's) phone number handy in case you get notice of a late change of disembarking time.

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

Brilliant.  You're fantastic; thank you again!

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