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Southampton-London Transfers - Airport (LHR/LGW) - NEW THREAD!


Host Anne
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Hi everyone ~ there was a long-running thread with this topic that became challenging to determine what information was current, giving it was 34 page long.  I'm starting a new thread so people can easily find current information (and because I have some questions myself).  

 

If you want to refer back to the original thread started in 2019, here's a link but start viewing by going towards the end of the thread (page 30 or so) instead of trying to go through all 34 pages as much of the early information is no longer current!  

 

 

Here's my questions for our first Cunard cruise out of Southampton in August of 2024!

 

  • Suggestions on transfers for a group of 12 from London to Southampton (we haven't booked our hotel yet).  We've never sailed out of Southampton before and we are all flying into Heathrow.  We will have four days in London pre-cruise.
  • Should we consider staying in Southampton the evening before the cruise?
  • What is the earliest time you'd book a flight back to the USA on the day we embark the ship?  We are flying Virgin but others are flying US airlines.  I know there can be a difference.  

 

THANKS for suggestions and feedback!  MUCH appreciated!!!

 

 

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9 hours ago, BentPicketRanchGirl said:

Warren St station, which is close to King's Cross station

I don’t know the significance of you saying this, but Warren Street is not particularly close to King’s Cross - it’s the best part of a mile away. Only two stops on the tube, though. 

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On 10/14/2023 at 4:12 PM, Host Anne said:
  • Suggestions on transfers for a group of 12 from London to Southampton (we haven't booked our hotel yet).  We've never sailed out of Southampton before and we are all flying into Heathrow.  We will have four days in London pre-cruise.
  •  

 

 

I have no experience with London, but I am interested in your comment that you are staying 4 day in London pre-cruise.  I am considering something similar and wondering if you've planned what to do and see during those 4 days?  I'd be very interested to hear.

 

Thanks!

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  • Host Bonjour changed the title to Southampton Transfers - Airport - NEW THREAD!

We will be staying in London for 2-3 nights post cruise out of Southampton on October 1, 2024.  I would suggest a possible excursion would be to take your group to the Harry Potter Experience just outside of London.  We did it last year (hadn’t seen but 1 HP movie) and surprisingly enjoyed the day there.  We went to buy Christmas gifts for our grandkids and we have decided to go back this time and enjoy the day now that we’ve seen all the HP movies and understand the stories.

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On 10/24/2023 at 5:34 PM, WinterCruiseLover said:

I have no experience with London, but I am interested in your comment that you are staying 4 day in London pre-cruise.  I am considering something similar and wondering if you've planned what to do and see during those 4 days?  I'd be very interested to hear.

 

Thanks!

We have been there a couple of times. Windsor castle is full day tour, pre book. Hampton Court full day. Tour of London full day. Westminster Abby couple of hours. Kensington Palace a couple of hours. Most museums are free, War museum 1/2 day, British History Museum full day +. Oyster card you can pre load and travel on the subway and busses. Hop On Hop off is another good deal.

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Re the comment on Oyster card.  Oyster still works but is now considered "old tech", and you need to pay £7 (not refundable) for the card.  The majority of transport fares in London are now paid by contactless bank card or ApplePay/GooglePay - which gives the cheapest fare and has no up-front cost.

HopOn-HopOff bus tour is an excellent way of getting an orientation but should not be considered as a transport method.  The normal service buses are infinitely more frequent and vastly cheaper.

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Forgive the ignorant question, but the other side of the Pond has adopted the contactless technology so much quicker than here in the US ... and this old fogy has lost his sense of direction. (Especially with the confusion over 7-day passes, the complicated Oyster card, etc.)

Is the "contactless bank card" any credit card with the expanding waves symbol on it? How does it work on transit? Do you tap once to get on then tap again to get off (and the transit system figures out how much to charge)?

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14 hours ago, Stonymtncruiser said:

We have been there a couple of times. Windsor castle is full day tour, pre book. Hampton Court full day. Tour of London full day. Westminster Abby couple of hours. Kensington Palace a couple of hours. Most museums are free, War museum 1/2 day, British History Museum full day +. Oyster card you can pre load and travel on the subway and busses. Hop On Hop off is another good deal.

Great information.  Thanks!

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3 hours ago, Island2Dweller said:

Re the comment on Oyster card.  Oyster still works but is now considered "old tech", and you need to pay £7 (not refundable) for the card.  The majority of transport fares in London are now paid by contactless bank card or ApplePay/GooglePay - which gives the cheapest fare and has no up-front cost.

HopOn-HopOff bus tour is an excellent way of getting an orientation but should not be considered as a transport method.  The normal service buses are infinitely more frequent and vastly cheaper.

Changed from last year I gather. Thanks for that info, might be heading back next year.

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12 hours ago, TouchstoneFeste said:

Forgive the ignorant question, but the other side of the Pond has adopted the contactless technology so much quicker than here in the US ... and this old fogy has lost his sense of direction. (Especially with the confusion over 7-day passes, the complicated Oyster card, etc.)

Is the "contactless bank card" any credit card with the expanding waves symbol on it? How does it work on transit? Do you tap once to get on then tap again to get off (and the transit system figures out how much to charge)?

 

Exactly that! Very similar to how it now works on NYC subway too

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On 11/4/2023 at 10:24 AM, Island2Dweller said:

Oyster still works but is now considered "old tech", and you need to pay £7 (not refundable) for the card.  The majority of transport fares in London are now paid by contactless bank card or ApplePay/GooglePay - which gives the cheapest fare and has no up-front cost.

 

There's no foreseeable prospect of Oyster being completely withdrawn, because of the proportion of the travelling population that either cannot get a bank-issued payment card or would find it extremely difficult to get or keep one, and because there are some TfL tickets and discounts that can only be loaded onto an Oyster.

 

So those of us who know and appreciate the advantages of Oyster over a bank card can rest easy! And I don't think there are any mainstream situations left in which the pay-as-you-go fare using a bank card is cheaper than the fare you'd pay using an Oyster.

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23 hours ago, TouchstoneFeste said:

Is the "contactless bank card" any credit card with the expanding waves symbol on it? How does it work on transit? Do you tap once to get on then tap again to get off (and the transit system figures out how much to charge)?

 

A contactless card should have a logo on it that looks something like this:

 

contactless-payment-icon.png

 

Touching in/out:

  • On the Tube, Elizabeth Line, National Rail (within the London fare area), Thames Clipper ferries, and the cable car at Greenwich: touch in on the reader as you enter through the gate, touch out at the gate as you leave.
  • On the DLR, the same applies but you must remember to look for and use a reader because there are no gates - and it can be easy to forget.
  • On the bus, touch in as you board, but do not touch out when you alight.
  • On Tramlink, it's the same as a bus, except for special arrangements at Wimbledon.

If you're using a contactless card, then after the end of the fare day TfL reviews all of your travel for the day and sends one charge to your bank. TfL will apply all caps etc before it does so, including the proper fare for a journey that requires you to change trains by exiting one station and entering another (eg Tower Hill <--> Tower Gateway). The fare day begins at 0430 each day and ends at 0429 the following day.

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On 10/14/2023 at 3:12 PM, Host Anne said:

 

  • Should we consider staying in Southampton the evening before the cruise?
  •  

 

 

If you choose to stay in Southampton the evening before the cruise - check out the WhiteStar tavern and inn.  It is named so because many passengers and crew would dine here before sailing on the line's ships.  It has rooms named after their ships (yes, including a Titanic room).  We are actually staying here this coming June 2024 before our cruise out of Southampton.

 

History of The White Star pub and hotel in Southampto (whitestartavern.co.uk)  

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How much time do you need to pad the car service pick yup time for Heathrow?  Let's say your flight arrives at 10:30 AM (on a Saturday in summer - so I expect it to be busy).  Would a noon pick up time be OK?  We are coming direct from US, so will need to go through passport control.

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Definitely following this thread. We booked flights during the summer for May 18-28, 2024 to and from Heathrow and have already booked 4 nights in London. We were either going to travel to Paris and spend 4 nights in Paris and then return for our flight home or take the Celebrity Apex 4-night cruise to Amsterdam and Bruges, and we chose the latter. So now I need to figure out transportation for 2 to/from Southampton.

 

We don't leave until the day following our cruise, so if we have a full day for sightseeing tours on the way back from Southampton, can someone suggest the best options? Also, is there any car/bus service and tour company that is considered the best?

Edited by PH2
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"I don't think there are any mainstream situations left in which the pay-as-you-go fare using a bank card is cheaper than the fare you'd pay using an Oyster. "

True.  But a bank card can be used to far more destinations (eg Windsor / Luton Airport) than Oyster.  This will become even more extensive from the end of 2023 when contactless will be extended to more stations outside London.

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4 hours ago, Island2Dweller said:

True.  But a bank card can be used to far more destinations (eg Windsor / Luton Airport) than Oyster.  This will become even more extensive from the end of 2023 when contactless will be extended to more stations outside London.

 

What is this "outside London" place of which you speak?

 

Anyway, those of us who choose to stick to Oyster (where we can) know the advantages for which we have made the choice ...

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If anyone is curious, I just got a quote for a transfer from LHR to a hotel in Southampton on a Friday morning from Gunwhatf Executive Travel.  160 GBP which includes the Heathrow pick up fees.  This is a car for 2 with 2 checked bags.  Return trip on a Saturday morning was 155 GBP.    Prices seemed good based on other private transfer prices I have seen, and they have very good reviews 

Edited by Shiba_Lover
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On 11/5/2023 at 4:39 PM, Shiba_Lover said:

How much time do you need to pad the car service pick yup time for Heathrow?  Let's say your flight arrives at 10:30 AM (on a Saturday in summer - so I expect it to be busy).  Would a noon pick up time be OK?  We are coming direct from US, so will need to go through passport control.

We usually just give the car service our flight information and let them estimate the time. Usually they watch the flight for delays as well. It's never been a problem with a car service yet.

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Just picking up this thread. Quick question, I had seen somewhere that you can often do a tour of Stonehenge (or Windsor castle) on a transfer to the airport. We’re on Princess in June and they offer this. Any recommendations for companies to look at?

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On 11/12/2023 at 2:58 AM, CruisingAlong4Now said:

I appreciate the new thread.  Once threads get to 15+ pages, I do not find them useful.

 

My question:  Dock at Southhampton, scheduled 6AM.  Is a 2pm flight from LHR to USA reasonably certain? Will be checking luggage at airport (probably Virgin Atlantic), economy class.


Absolutely fine.

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On 11/15/2023 at 12:50 PM, jas283a said:

Just picking up this thread. Quick question, I had seen somewhere that you can often do a tour of Stonehenge (or Windsor castle) on a transfer to the airport. We’re on Princess in June and they offer this. Any recommendations for companies to look at?


This company frequently gets recommended here: 

 

https://www.internationalfriends.co.uk/shore-excursions-and-cruise-transfers.html#tour-tab2

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