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Train or stay in Southampton on embarkation day

I will be departing on a cruise in June leaving out of Southampton. I am currently staying in Bath for 5 nights ( 5th night free ) and will take the train in the morning to Southampton. However, I am a little concerned about delays since there will be 5 ships leaving that day ( around 20,000 passengers) that I should stay in Southampton the day before the cruise. This is my first time cruising out of Southampton and not sure how hectic it may be with 5 ships.

Posted by
6473 posts

Southampton handles 5 ships quite frequently, from 5 different terminals- 3 in a line, the other two in differing parts of the dock system.

The port is just used to handling that amount of traffic, as well as substantial container and other freight traffic. There are well over 100 berths in the port as a whole.

The train isn't going to be delayed by the port traffic. Most cruise passengers who do arrive by train arrive from London. Also those who arrive by car arrive over a period of hours- then to car parks from which they are transferred to the terminals.

Three of the five terminals are even within walking distance of the railway station- or walking distance for many experienced British cruisers anyway. But there are taxis at the station for the short journey.

In short this is over thinking the issue.

Posted by
8529 posts

I’ve gone from London Heathrow to Southampton on the day of the cruise using National Express bus and it worked fine. I had arrived in the UK the day before. I stayed at Heathrow airport hotel and went to Kew Gardens.

I’m heading out again next week to Southampton, but this time I will be in Southampton two nights before the cruise because I am taking friends to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard the day before the cruise.

I think it is all about what you feel the most comfortable with. Will you relax and enjoy that last night in Bath or will you be a little stressed about distance to port? If you want to make the switch to Southampton, check hotel availability right away. I know our hotel has been sold out for our dates for quite some time.

Posted by
4998 posts

As Carol now retired said, it depends on your comfort level. Personally, we've taken many cruises, and usually stay in the port city the night before departure. Why? Simply to eliminate the stress factor of having to get there on departure day. We're not worrywarts, but do belive that Murphree's Law comes into play when one least expects it. Train strikes come to mind as well as weather problems. Just food for thought

Posted by
6473 posts

At Southampton there a few chain hotels within a short distance of the main cruise terminals which are used by many people- they price accordingly especially on multi ship days. They are the ones which are easiest to find on line.

There is a cruise blogger called Travel Blog Jamie- if you search around his You Tube Channel you will find that he likes to try different hotels in SOU and has found some fantastic ones. Just this morning he has put out a new video about the Harbour Hotel (a luxury hotel) which he happened to find for £100 a night on his particular travel day- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwQ0ajs3A8o

You may not find that on your travel day, but it is worth looking and keep looking at Booking.com. You never know what you might find.