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We will be disembarking in Dover on Friday, 8/27/2021. Flying back to Atlanta out of Heathrow. What is a comfortable time for flight departure? Is 12 noon doable?  4 adults and capable of early, self/unassisted debark. Itinerary indicates ship is back in port 5a.m. after a 12-day Baltic sailing.  We're not sure of what we'll need to pass thru regarding European customs, immigration, etc.  Thanks for any input. I'll also be posting in the Europe forum.   

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5 hours ago, cruisinlawn said:

We will be disembarking in Dover on Friday, 8/27/2021. Flying back to Atlanta out of Heathrow. What is a comfortable time for flight departure? Is 12 noon doable?  4 adults and capable of early, self/unassisted debark. Itinerary indicates ship is back in port 5a.m. after a 12-day Baltic sailing.  We're not sure of what we'll need to pass thru regarding European customs, immigration, etc.  Thanks for any input. I'll also be posting in the Europe forum.   

I would say early afternoon 2-3....Better to allow additional time now going forward. 

Best of luck on this cruise...I'm keeping my fingers crossed my end of July 2021 cruise sails.

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On 10/15/2020 at 9:04 PM, CruiserBruce said:

If you do some reading on the Britain board, you will see many discussions on this.

Was hoping I would get a more informative answer from you or Flyer. As indicated and you replied over on the Britain board. Thanks

Edited by cruisinlawn
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If I am ending a cruise in the UK, or for that matter almost anywhere in Europe, I am not rushing from the ship to an airplane.  I'm on the other side of the pond -- I stay and enjoy a few more days of vacation.  I consider it a low-cost extension, since I'm not adding an additional flight cost to get that stay.

 

If I had been in the Baltic, I'd be staying and enjoying London or the English countryside.  Unless you have been there so often that you've seen and done it all.

 

Thus, I have no direct experience on leaving a ship in Dover and rushing to LHR.  You are about a hundred miles for that trip, but you will also be on the M25, known by many as Britain's largest parking lot that converts into a motorway at night.

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4 hours ago, FlyerTalker said:

If I am ending a cruise in the UK, or for that matter almost anywhere in Europe, I am not rushing from the ship to an airplane.  I'm on the other side of the pond -- I stay and enjoy a few more days of vacation.  I consider it a low-cost extension, since I'm not adding an additional flight cost to get that stay.

 

If I had been in the Baltic, I'd be staying and enjoying London or the English countryside.  Unless you have been there so often that you've seen and done it all.

 

Thus, I have no direct experience on leaving a ship in Dover and rushing to LHR.  You are about a hundred miles for that trip, but you will also be on the M25, known by many as Britain's largest parking lot that converts into a motorway at night.

Agree if the OP has the time.

On our last Baltic cruise we spent a week post cruise in London.

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We'll be in London at least one week precruise. At this point, adding days post cruise isn't possible, as much as we would like. 

I'll conclude best for afternoon flight or stay over 1 night and depart Saturday morning, which is an option.  Appreciate the input. Enjoy your travels  🙂

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This has been discussed regularly on here and the other subfora (that I don't venture to). Grew up in the area so very familiar with the options...

 

If you are going by rail the station in Southampton heads right into London and takes you about as close to Heathrow as mainline trains go. Most people who are taking the train to Heathrow would disembark at Woking where you can get the regular RailAir coach service the last few miles to Heathrow. 

 

The M3 motorway that leads into London from Southampton is a decent road but can get very congested in rush hour as you near London and the M25 (from about Camberley onwards if you want to look it up). The M25 which you'd only take a few miles is the most congested road in Europe on that particular section. If you're in a private car or such then I'm sure your driver would take you around the houses (there are plenty of alternatives to get you to the airport through back roads) to get there, whereas a coach would probably just stick to the M25.

 

As others have said there are plenty of places to spend a day or two after you disembark if you don't need to/want to rush to the airport. Halfway between Southampton and Heathrow is the Four Seasons Hampshire which is one of the nicest rural hotels in the UK. Nearer Southampton you have Lime Wood Hotel and Chewton Glen which are both excellent options.

Edited by fbgd
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I agree with staying at least one night.  We have enjoyed Windsor,  within easy reach by bus or taxi from Heathrow airport.    We also visited Winchester Cathedral, between Southampton and Heathrow. Every trip we visit something new,  there is so much to see in this area of England.  Leeds Castle,  the Cotswolds,  Salisbury Cathedral,  ...... 

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Just as a few points of reference....

Fog is not unknown on the coasts of England.

While we have not sailed to Dover specifically we have been there and you would have to travel quite a distance to LHR on A and M routes.

The last time we were at Heathrow (16 months ago), under normal circumstances and with airline priority it took us three hours from check in to gate. That has been our usual experience for years. If you are flying Delta to ATL the gates are a hike too.

With a group of 4 try to arrange a car service if you can find a flight back around 2 or later if there is still a later flight. There used to be one around then but with the Covid related cutbacks I don't know what the schedule might be when you travel. If you are using a ship's bus service book your flight for the next day. There are plenty of hotels to match almost every budget near the airport.

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On 10/27/2020 at 8:39 AM, cayman09 said:

Is Gatwick from Southampton any better? On a Sunday?

 

There's non-stop rail service from Southampton to Gatwick on the rather unreliable Southern Railway service. Takes about 2hrs as it's not an express line. Trainline.co.uk allows you to look up rail timetables and options across all UK operators but book tickets through the actual operator to save a few shekels on fees.

 

By road Heathrow is certainly more direct than Gatwick, especially on Sunday where the aforementioned congested roads of the M3 and M25 for getting to Heathrow will be a lot less of a factor.

 

All things being equal I'd certainly pick Southampton to Heathrow over Gatwick but if you're paying a huge premium for doing so then getting to Gatwick isn't hugely inconvenient. 

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On 11/3/2020 at 3:40 PM, fbgd said:

All things being equal I'd certainly pick Southampton to Heathrow over Gatwick but if you're paying a huge premium for doing so then getting to Gatwick isn't hugely inconvenient. 

And if OP is heading to ATL then LGW is less desirable choice also since there are no direct flights between these two airports (at least for time being and I seriously doubt that would change in the near future).

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  • 3 weeks later...

Have you checked the cruise line air division?  Usually when you look on their site; they will only list flights that they know you should be able to make;  that is including the drive time from the port

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