Southampton Cruise Port: How To Plan An Awesome Shore Day

Southampton Cruise Port: How To Plan An Awesome Shore Day

picture of tower bridge in london at sunset

Are you wondering what to do from the Southampton Cruise Port? Then you are not alone!

London is the most obvious choice for your shore excursion when stopping in Southampton. But since the city is a little farther away, the planning is quite a hassle.

So it is also worth looking at other ideas on how to spend your day from the Southampton Cruise Terminal.

Luckily for you, I am an avid cruiser and I know London and the area well from previous visits.

To make your cruise stop a bit easier for you, I have created possible itineraries and ideas for your shore day in London.

Let’s get to it!

Table of Contents

  • About the Southampton Cruise Terminal
    • Mayflower Terminal

    • Ocean Cruise Terminal
    • City Cruise Terminal
    • Queen Elizabeth II Terminal
    • Horizon Cruise Terminal
  • Possible Excursions From Southampton Cruise Port
  • 1. Best Shore Excursions from Southampton Cruise Port
  • 2. Private Transfer to London from Southampton Cruise Port
  • 3. Self-Organized Day Trip to London
    • How to Get from Southampton Cruise Terminal to London

  • 4. Renting a Car and Exploring the Countryside
  • Conclusion: Southampton Cruise Port
  • More 1-Day Cruise Itineraries
  • FAQ: Southampton Cruise Port
  • About the Author

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About the Southampton Cruise Terminal

Southampton Cruise Terminal is a big deal in the UK for cruises. It is the main gateway for ships going to Europe, the Caribbean, and beyond.

The Southampton Cruise Port is about 80 miles outside of London. It has a special connection to the Titanic, so it is worth checking out by itself.

The port has 5 different terminals, which we’ll be looking at in detail in a bit.

Map of the Southampton Cruise Port with all terminals in colorful circles
Southampton Cruise Port – Terminals

Mayflower Terminal

📍 Mayflower Cruise Terminal, Berth 106, Herbert Walker Avenue, Western Docks, Southampton, SO15 1HJ

It’s pretty modern and has a lot of amenities. If you’re looking for comfort, this is your spot.

Access to this terminal is via Dock Gate 10 (purple).

Lots of cruise lines like P&O Cruises and Cunard use it.

Ocean Cruise Terminal

📍 Ocean Cruise Terminal, Berth 46/47, Eastern Docks, Southampton, SO14 3QN

The Ocean Terminal is super sleek and new. It’s got this cool glass design and even a rooftop lounge.

You can access it via Dock Gate 4 (blue).

If you’re into that Instagram-worthy aesthetic, you’ll love it here. It is mostly used by the Carnival Corporation.

City Cruise Terminal

📍 City Cruise Terminal, Berth 101, Solent Road, Western Docks, Southampton, SO15 1AJ

The city cruise terminal is all about convenience. It’s the closest to the city center.

It’s not as fancy as the others but gets the job done.

You access it via Dock Gate 10 (yellow).

It is mostly used by Royal Caribbean, MSC and NCL.

Queen Elizabeth II Terminal

📍 QE2 Cruise Terminal, 38/39 Test Road, Eastern Docks, Southampton, SO14 3GG

It is often called the QEII. This one’s a bit older but still pretty chill.

Good for smaller ships and offers awesome views of the water.

You access it via Dock Gate 4 (red).

Horizon Cruise Terminal

📍 Horizon Cruise Terminal, Berth 102, Herbert Walker Avenue, Western Docks, Southampton, SO15 1HJ

The Horizon (or Berth 102) Cruise Terminal is the newest terminal in Southampton.

It was constructed together by MSC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Lines.

You can access it via Dock Gate 10 (orange).

Possible Excursions From Southampton Cruise Port

When you arrive on a cruise ship at Southampton Cruise Terminal, you have quite a few choices on how to spend your day.

One day in a location is never enough to see all of it, so you might have to prioritize what you want to do.

Also depending on your mode of transportation, London is about 1,5 – 3 hours away from Southampton Cruise Port. That means you have to think carefully if it is worth it depending on your departure & arrival times.

If you only have a few hours in this port of call, you might be better off with a shore excursion in the area nearby.

Here are a couple of things you can choose from when planning your day:

  • Booking a Shore Excursion
  • Book a Private Transfer to London
  • Self-Organized Day Trip to London
  • Renting a Car and Exploring the Countryside

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1. Best Shore Excursions from Southampton Cruise Port

Author’s Pick

stonehenge monument

Shore Excursion Stonehenge & Salisbury Cathedral (Magna Carta)
  • 5 Hours
  • Private Tour
  • Up to 7 People
  • Flexible Itinerary
  • Local Guide

Check Prices


the cotswolds

Bath and the Cotswolds Day Tour from Southampton
  • 8 Hours
  • Private Tour
  • Amazing Price
  • Flexible Itinerary
  • Very Good Guide

Check Prices

Historical Value

beautiful windsor castle

Windsor Castle Private Tour from Southampton
  • 5 Hours
  • Private Tour
  • Up to 4 People
  • Great Money/Value
  • Comfortable Transport

Check Prices

2. Private Transfer to London from Southampton Cruise Port

Sabrina’s Choice

london tower bridge

Private Driver to London
  • 8 Hours
  • Custom Itinerary
  • Transfer to London & Back
  • Up to 4 People
  • Amazing Price
  • Flexibility

Check Prices

3. Self-Organized Day Trip to London

How to Get from Southampton Cruise Terminal to London

If you’re going from Southampton Cruise Port to London, you’ve got a bunch of options:

  • Train: Super easy. Head to Southampton Central Station and catch a direct train to London. Takes around 1.5 to 2 hours. Exit at Waterloo Station. Check the Train Schedule.
  • National Express Coach: Super fast, but you need to walk to Southampton City Center. Ends at Victoria Coach Station.
  • Private Car: You can book a private transfer. Pricey but comfy.
  • Taxi: You can grab one right at the port, but it’ll cost a bit more than other options.
  • Car Rental: If you wanna explore at your own pace, renting a car is cool. Just mind the UK driving rules! Check DiscoverCars for amazing offers.
  • Shared Shuttle: Some services offer shared rides to London. It’s like a middle-ground option between private and public transport.

4. Renting a Car and Exploring the Countryside

Of course, you can also rent a car at the Southampton Cruise Terminal and explore the area at your own pace.

Whether you ride to London or stay in the area, the choice is yours. Just keep in mind that the British drive on the other side of the street.

Here are some ideas on where you can stop by on your road trip:

  • New Forest – A nature lover’s paradise just 30 minutes away. Ponies, trails, and all that green stuff!
  • Stonehenge – An hour’s drive to see these iconic ancient stones. A bucket list kind of place.
  • Portsmouth – About 30 minutes out. Historic ships, museums, and beaches. Lots to do!
  • Winchester is only 20 minutes away. Old-school cathedral, cobblestones, and a chill vibe.
  • Isle of Wight – You’ll need a ferry, but beaches, cliffs, and even dino fossils await!
  • Salisbury – Around 40 minutes to get there. It’s got a gorgeous cathedral and a cute town center.
  • Oxford – An hour and a half drive, but hello, it’s Oxford! Universities, libraries, and historic streets.
  • Bath – About 1 hour 30 minutes away. Roman baths, Georgian architecture, and chill spas.
  • Brighton – Just over an hour’s drive. Beaches, piers, and that cool, artsy atmosphere.
  • Bournemouth – Around 40 minutes. Sandy beaches and a fun pier. Great for some sun and sea!

Conclusion: Southampton Cruise Port

As you have seen in this post, there is a lot to do from the Southampton Cruise Terminal on your shore day.

London is quite far away, so getting there can be quite stressful. Instead, there are many other options for cool things you can see.

Check out Stonehenge, rent a car, or see Windsor castle. The English countryside is definitely worth seeing, and the Southampton Cruise Port is a great starting point.

In this post we have also talked about the various cruise terminals, so you’ll be prepped for your adventure.

More 1-Day Cruise Itineraries

  • 1 Day in Malta – From Valletta Cruise Port
  • 1 Day in Aruba – From Cruise Port
  • 1 Day in Curacao – From Cruise Port
  • 1 Day in Bonaire – From Cruise Port
  • 1 Day in Santorini – From Cruise Port
  • 1 Day in Mykonos – From Cruise Port
  • Dominican Republic Cruise Ports & Shore Excursions

FAQ: Southampton Cruise Port

Is It Worth Going to London For 1 Day?

Yes, it is absolutely worth going to London for 1 day! London’s rich history and vibrant culture offer a delightful day. Explore iconic landmarks like Big Ben, try local cuisine, and soak in the charming atmosphere. Perfect for a quick adventure!

Is One Day Enough in London?

One day in London gives a taste of London’s history and charm. You can see famous spots like Big Ben and enjoy local flavors. But to properly see the city and learn more about it, I would suggest going for at least three days to London.

What to see in London in 1 Day?

In a day in London, catch Big Ben’s timeless beauty, stroll along the Thames by Tower Bridge, and visit the historic Tower of London. Dive into British history at the British Museum, and end with a classic ride on the London Eye for a panoramic city view. Book a traditional afternoon tea to get a great cultural experience.

Can you walk around London in one day?

Absolutely, you can stroll London in a day! Hit landmarks like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and the charming Covent Garden. Take in the Thames River, explore museums, and try typical eats. While a quick jaunt, it’s a taste of London’s charm. Just remember, more time unveils more treasures!

Is London a walkable city?

London is quite walkable! You can explore major attractions like Big Ben, the British Museum, and Covent Garden on foot. The Thames River adds to the scenic charm. However, the city is vast, so a mix of walking and public transport might help you make the most of your adventure. Enjoy the stroll and sights!

How to get from Southampton Port to London?

To travel from Southampton to London, hop on a train from Southampton Central station. It’s a convenient and efficient option. The journey takes around 1.5 to 2 hours. Once in London, you’ll be ready to dive into the city’s vibrant atmosphere and explore its many attractions. Enjoy the ride and your time in London!

How much does a taxi cost from Southampton Cruise Port to London?

Taxi fares from Southampton cruise port to London can vary. On average, it could range from £120 to £180, depending on factors like the taxi service, time of travel, and traffic conditions. It’s a comfortable option but can be more expensive compared to trains or coaches. Remember to check with taxi services for accurate pricing and availability.

Where do cruise ships leave from in Southampton?

Cruise ships depart from the Port of Southampton, a major UK port for cruises. This bustling maritime hub offers several terminals, including the Mayflower Terminal and Ocean Terminal. These terminals welcome passengers to embark on exciting cruise journeys, often taking them to various destinations across the world.

blonde girl pink dress in front of blue door santorini

About the Author

Sabrina is a passionate travel blogger and content creator, based in New Mexico. She spends about half the year traveling to various destinations with her husband.

She provides slow-paced itineraries that focus on quality over quantity. Sabrina wants to help her readers to get more out of their travel experiences – while doing less. Read more.

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