Port of Southampton
The Port of Southampton is the UK's most frequented cruise port, welcoming some of the largest cruise ships in the world, including those owned by Cunard, P&O, and Royal Caribbean. The port also runs passenger ferries to the Isle of Wight and across the channel to France, as well as serves as the gateway to London and wider South East England.
Although the center of Southampton has a clutch of shops and attractions, including the remains of a medieval city wall, most passengers departing from or docking in the Port of Southampton choose to build in time pre- or post-cruise to explore London. Shore excursions to and from the capital that include stops at Windsor Castle, Bath, Salisbury, or Stonehenge prove popular, while transfer services between London Heathrow or Central London also abound.
Things to Know Before You Go
Shore excursions typically include port pickup and drop-off and are popular pre- or post-cruise options from the Port of Southampton.
There are four cruise terminals in Southampton, so be sure that you know which terminal your ship arrives and departs from.
There are no shuttle buses between terminals and Southampton, so choose a tour with pickup included or plan to take a taxi.
Transfers from the Port of Southampton to central London or London Heathrow typically take around two hours.
How to Get to Southampton From the Port of Southampton
Southampton has four cruise terminals—Mayflower, City, Queen Elizabeth II (QE2), and Ocean. All four are located roughly 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) from both Southampton Central Railway Station and Southampton coach station, or around 5 miles (8 kilometers) from Southampton Airport. Despite being within walking distance, the motorways and busy dockyards mean that it's best to take a taxi. Taxi ranks are located outside each terminal.
The local language is English, and the currency is the British pound (or “quid” in local slang). Other currencies are not typically accepted, although credit cards can be used almost everywhere, including in many taxis.