Arriving in London by cruise ship
How to get to London from Southampton or other cruise ports
Most Transatlantic and European cruises still dock at Southampton, on the coast about 130 km (80 miles) southwest of London.
There are also three cruise ship docks within Greater London—Tower Bridge Upper, Greenwich Ship Tier, and Tilbury, with a larger Greenwich port proposed to open by 2017 as part of the Enderby Wharf, SE10 development.
Other popular cruise ship ports near(ish) London include Dover, Harwich, and Southampton's neighbor, Portsmouth.
Don't trust the ship or cruise company to offer the cheapest ride into London or Heathrow from the port where you disembark (or from London or Heathrow to the docks).
They might—and do look into it—but compare that the the frankly relative low cost (and door-to-door service) of a private transfer from our partners at Viator.com:
- CruiseDirect.com - One of the top cruise discounters in the business, consistently underselling the higher rack rates you'll see posted on the web sites of the cruise companies themselves. CruiseDirect.com even has a last-minute page with discounts on soon-to-leave ships.Partner
- Cruisecompete.com - You know the commercials for LendingTree.com? That whole "When banks compete, you win..." spiel? Well this the same thing for cruises. You put in the date and destination and ship (any or all of those), and it sends your cruise request to a whole bunch of cruise brokers and discounters. Each of them then contacts you with a quote on how little they can do that cruise for you. Basically, it does the shopping around for you, pretty cool, huh? Partner
- Priceline.com - The famous discounter of hotels rooms also does cruises.Partner
- CruiseCritic.com - Editorial site with ship reviews, plenty of good crusing intel, and very active forums. (Disclosure: I have written for them, and have several friends on the editorial staff.)
- Singlescruise.com - Books groups of singles (ages 21 on up, but mostly 35–55) onto cruise ships, offering its own onboard program of events and mixers—and, most importantly, matching you with a same-gender cabinmate (of roughly the same age) so you don't have to pay the dreaded "single supplement."
- Viator.com - Loads of local river boat rides, from sighseeing crusies and dinner cruises to hop-on/hop-off boats, high-speed boat rides on the Thames to a punting tour of Cambridge. With user reviews and current pricing, the best place to comparison shop the various companies.Partner
- Citycruises.com - standard cruises & dining cruises
- Bateauxlondon.com - dining cruises, music cruises
- Thamescruises.com - party boats
- Londoneye.com - standard cruises
- Thamesclippers.com - river bus