Coach Travel to Southampton Cruise Terminal: The 6 Best Options



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I regularly travel by coach when I take cruises from Southampton. For us, it’s the cheapest and easiest way to get from the North of England to Southampton.

I have driven and flown before, there’s also the option of trains, but usually, taking a coach is the best way to get to Southampton for a cruise.

In this guide, I’ll show you all of the coach companies you should look at for your cruise.

coach to southampton

1. Intercruises – Cruise Connect

Intercruises offers a coach transfer service called Cruise Connect for passengers who are cruising with Cunard, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises or Marella.

This service will take you from a local pick-up point, all the way to the ship. There are 52 Cruise Connect pick up points available, so you’ll always have one close by. Your luggage is taken care of too, so when you arrive at the coach you won’t see it again until it’s delivered to your cabin on board your ship.

In the 20+ years that Intercruises has been operating Cruise Connect coaches, they’ve never missed a sailing. As the coach only contains cruise passengers, if there’s ever a delay then the ship will wait.

Children aged 3 to 12 travel for a reduced fare on Intercruise coaches, and under 3s go free. Car seats are advised, but not necessary.

You won’t often find children on board, so when they do go on the coach the friendly drivers usually make a fuss of them. We even got to watch Moana on the onboard TV on our last journey to Southampton. And I must say, the over 60s loved it!

When you book a P&O Cruise, you may be given the option to have free coach travel or car parking at the terminal. The P&O coach travel to Southampton will be provided by Intercruises. Even if you don’t have this option or if you choose a Saver Fare with no free coach, you can still book the Intercruise coach yourself directly through their website.

  • Cruise lines: Cunard, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Marella
  • Pick up points: 52
  • Drop off: At the ship
  • Wheelchair access: Yes

2. Eavesway Travel – Cruiselink

Eavesway Coach

Eavesway Travel offers a coach service to Southampton, Dover and Newcastle for passengers travelling with Celebrity Cruises, Fred.Olsen, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean. It’s only available for cruises of five nights or more.

Coaches depart from stops across the North of England, Midlands and South Wales.

The company dates back to 1931 and has been offering coaches to Southampton Cruise Terminal since the 90s. The coaches are very luxurious with leather seats and free wifi.

The Cruiselink coaches only carry cruise passengers, so you can be sure that you won’t miss the ship. Your luggage will be taken care of too, so you won’t need to carry it yourself.

Parents should note that on Eavesway coaches to Southampton, a car seat or booster seat is compulsory for kids under 12 or under 135cm tall. My kids use the BubbleBum inflatable booster seat when we travel. There are no reduced prices for children – they will pay the full adult fare.

  • Cruise lines: Celebrity Cruises, Fred.Olsen, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean
  • Pick up points: Around 30
  • Drop off: At the ship
  • Wheelchair access: Yes

3. Megabus

Megabus

The cheapest way to get to Southampton is the Megabus. I’ve used this service to travel from Manchester to Southampton for as little as £12. I also like to use Tesco Clubcard vouchers to get the coach tickets for free!

The Megabus will drop you off in Southampton City Centre, just over a mile from the Cruise Terminal. It is possible to walk, but with luggage, it’s easier to get a taxi or Uber.

When taking the Megabus, you’ll likely want to travel the day before your cruise in case there are delays. Staying overnight in a hotel in Southampton will reduce the stress of travel and give you time to relax before your cruise.

Children aged 4 to 14 get a 10% discount and those under 4 travel free, although they aren’t guaranteed a seat.

  • Cruise lines: All
  • Pick up points: 16 direct + 90 indirect
  • Drop off: Southampton City Centre (East Park Terrace Stop IC)
  • Wheelchair access: Yes

4. National Express

National Express

National Express is the UK’s largest coach company. The coaches are comfortable with lots of legroom and free wifi. They usually don’t cost much more than the Megabus if you book early enough.

National Express Coaches stop at Southampton Coach Station which is just over one mile from the Cruise Terminal. You can walk, but most people find it easier to take a taxi or Uber.

If you take the National Express to Southampton for a cruise, it’s a good idea to travel the day before in case of delays. This is particularly true if you have to take more than one coach as if the first coach is delayed you may miss your second one.

National Express doesn’t offer discounts for children. Children aged 3 and up are charged the full adult fare. Children aged under 3 travel for free and you can book a free ticket to ensure that they have a seat.

  • Cruise lines: All
  • Pick up points: 26 direct + 400 indirect
  • Drop off: Southampton Coach Station (Harbour Parade)
  • Wheelchair access: Yes

5. Amore Cruise Connection

Amore Cruise Connection is a family-run company that specialises in coach transfers from Scotland to Southampton cruise terminal.

The coaches pick up at Glasgow Buchanan Bus Station, and then carry on to further pick-ups at Bothwell Services and Gretna Services.

They’ve also added two new pickups – Abercorn Street in Paisley, and for cruise guests in Englad who are north of Preston, you can get picked up from the Premier Inn in Lancaster. From there, they head directly to Southampton.

While the company is relatively new, members of the family have been involved in bus and coach travel for over 30 years, so you know you’re in experienced hands. And while Amore does offer other group coach travel, it was primarily founded for cruise connections, thanks to the passion for cruising that the family has.

A £20 discount is available on return fares for under 16s, and wheelchair travel is available. The company has agreements with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and MSC Cruises to drive right up to the terminal, so you won’t even need to haul around your luggage – it’ll be collected as soon as you get off the coach.

  • Cruise lines: Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, MSC Cruises
  • Pick up points: Paisley (Abercorn Street), Glasgow Buchanan Bus Station, Bothwell Services, Gretna Services, Lancaster Premier Inn
  • Drop off: At the ship
  • Wheelchair access: Yes

6. Omio

Omio is a price comparison site for coaches, trains and flights. While a coach is often the best way to get to Southampton, it can sometimes be cheaper and faster to take the train or even to fly.

I find that it’s worth checking on Omio, as the website will quickly show you all of your travel options so that you can be sure that the coach is the best one.

It doesn’t check all of the coach services, so you’ll still need to look at those individually, but it can be helpful for spotting any good value train tickets or plane tickets that you might not have considered.

view of ship from coach
Only Intercruises, Eavesway and Amore will take you straight to the ship

Popular Coach Routes to Southampton

Here’s some information about how to get to Southampton by coach from some of the main cities in the UK…

Coach from Glasgow to Southampton Cruise Terminal

Coaches from Glasgow to Southampton with Intercruises Cruise Connect or Amore depart at around 3.30 am with a journey time of around 10 hours. This will take you straight to your cruise ship in time for check-in. It’s only available for guests cruising with Celebrity Cruises, Cunard, MSC Cruises, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean (depending on which company you use).

Alternatively, you can take the overnight National Express Service from Glasgow to Southampton. You’ll need to change coaches at Birmingham or London and the total journey time is 12 to 14 hours.

National Express coach at Southampton coach station

Coach from Liverpool to Southampton Cruise Terminal

You can take a coach from Liverpool to Southampton Cruise Terminal with Eavesway or Intercruises. The pick-up time is approximately 7 am and you’ll be taken straight to your cruise ship.

Alternatively, you can take the National Express coach the day before your cruise. The journey takes 8 to 10 hours and you’ll need to change coaches at Birmingham or London.

Coach from London to Southampton Cruise Terminal

Intercruises Cruise Connect offers a coach service from London Victoria and London Heathrow to Southampton Cruise Terminal. This is only available for those cruising with Cunard, P&O Cruises or Princess Cruises.

There are also National Express coach services from London Victoria and Hammersmith to Southampton Coach Station. Direct coaches take around 2 to 2 1⁄2 hours.

Inside of National Express coach

Coach from Manchester to Southampton Cruise Terminal

There is no direct coach from Manchester to Southampton Cruise Terminal. But, Intercruises Cruise Connect and Eavesway Travel both offer a service from Knutsford Services to Southampton Cruise Port with a pick-up time of around 8 am and a journey time of around 5 hours.

Megabus offers a direct coach from Manchester Coach Station to Southampton Coach Station with a journey time of 6 to 7 hours.

You can also take the National Express from Manchester to Southampton. This requires changing at London or Birmingham and the total journey time is 8 to 11 hours.

National Express coach from Southampton to London

Coach from Birmingham to Southampton Cruise Terminal

Intercruises Cruise Connect and Eavesway Travel both offer coach travel from Birmingham to Southampton Cruise Port. The pick-up time from Hilton Park Services in North Birmingham is around 9.15 am or from Hopwood Park Services in South Birmingham is around 10.15 am. The journey takes 3 to 4 hours.

There’s a Megabus service from Birmingham Brunel Street to Southampton City Centre that takes 3 1⁄2 to 4 hours. Due to the timings, you would need to take the coach the day before your cruise.

You can also take the National Express from Birmingham Coach Station to Southampton Coach Station. Direct journeys take 3 1⁄2 to 4 1⁄2 hours.

Coach from Leeds to Southampton Cruise Terminal

Intercruises Cruise Connect and Eavesway Travel both offer coach travel from Leeds Coach Station to Southampton Cruise Terminal. Pick up is at around 6.30 am and you will be taken straight to your cruise ship.

Alternatively, you can take the National Express from Leeds to Southampton. There are no direct routes so you’ll need to travel the day before or overnight and change to London. The journey takes 7 to 12 hours.

people on coach

How Much Does Coach Travel to Southampton Cost?

You may be able to get free coach travel to Southampton as part of your cruise booking with P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises or Cunard. You can also travel on the Megabus for free in exchange for Tesco Clubcard vouchers.

The Megabus is the cheapest coach to Southampton. It can cost as little as £12 per person for a single ticket.

A return coach ticket to Southampton with InterCruises, Eavesway or Amore can cost between £75 and £170 per person, depending on the distance.

Final Thoughts

Taking the coach is my preferred way to get to Southampton from the North. It’s not the fastest way, but it’s often the cheapest and I find it to be the most relaxing, especially when travelling with children.

When you take the coach you can relax in comfortable seats and enjoy a book, a movie or even a nap while your driver does all of the hard work. Coaches have toilets on board, so don’t have to worry about timing your rest stops to match everyone’s bladder habits as you do when travelling by car.

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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32 thoughts on “Coach Travel to Southampton Cruise Terminal: The 6 Best Options”

  1. Booked with Eavesway for coach transfer from Preston to Southampton MSC Virtuosa 11/05/2024 and return. Booked November last year. All MSC Southampton cruise transfers available this year.

  2. Hello Jenni, I have read your very useful article on coach travel and I am going to be booking with intercruises for my upcoming cruise with P&O. I was wondering though about embarkation time on arrival at Southampton. Do I need to let P&O know I am travelling by coach as don’t really want to be hanging around the terminal for hours if I am given a late embarkation time.

    • Intercruises are affiliated with P&O Cruises so if you book with them your embarkation time will match the coach arrival time. If your coach is late, they give you a ticket to skip the queue at the terminal and the ship won’t go without you.

  3. Do you know if there is a transfer service for Royal Caribbean from Southampton to Bristol?
    Thanks

    • Hi Linda. I recently moved to Bristol so this is something I have looked into. There aren’t many coaches, so for my next cruise I have booked a train. It’s quite quick and only cost me £8 as I booked a few months in advance. Jenni

  4. Can I have a contact number please I am in North wales.. Coach to Southampton

  5. Hiya Jenni, thanks for a great article, its certainly put my mind at ease on a few points.
    One thing I didn’t notice however, was how long these coach journeys might take. I know there are probably a lot of variables, such as how many pickups, drivers comfort breaks etc, but if I’m travelling from Sheffield to Southampton, would you be able to give me a ballpark figure + or – an hour or so? Many thanks. Pete L

    • I would expect that would take about 5 hours. If you use the official cruise line coach, they will pick you up at about 8 am and you will be there at about 1pm ready to board. You’ll probably get two breaks, a quick 15-minutes stop and a longer 45-minute lunch break.

  6. Is there a bus from Manchester Airport to the Southampton Cruise terminal?

    • Not right to the terminal, but there is one from Manchester Airport to Southampton coach station. You’ll need to travel the day before and stay in a hotel.

  7. That’s good to know thanks so much Jenni. The Intercruise does a pick up from within our city so I would prefer to go with them as it’s about an hour to Easvesway pick up! Thanks for the info and all your handy info. Jenny x

  8. A pretty daft article. I thought I’d try and get a quote from Intercruises to get an idea of cost and journey time. You need to have booked a cruise already with a cruise number and a booking reference. By which time it’s already too late to properly price a cruise. By trial and error I managed to create a false booking. The cost £151 – way higher than a comfortable train journey, the time – best part of a day, departure time – middle of the night so I’d have to get a taxi from South Shields to the bus depot (adds another £50 each way to the cost). I found the best way from home to Southampton is a train to London then a train to Southampton. Travelling first class for five hours I pay less than 14 hours on a bus and get fed and watered. They say a little knowledge is dangerous.

    • It’s hardly a daft article, even moreso considering it is headlined and specifically referencing coach travel, which many people prefer (and it’s not necessarily just all about cost).
      It’s simply about outlining one of the various travel options – you can choose to use it or not as part of your own research on what will ultimately work best for you.

  9. We’ve just booked our first cruise with our 5 year old for later this year and your website is proving a godsend already so thank you! I wasn’t aware of the coach transfer as we’re travelling from Yorkshire to Southampton so it’s definitely something we’ll be looking to do. I’d looked at Intercruise first – I like the affiliation with the cruise co so they wont sail without us! However had read some pretty awful reviews which is putting me off a bit. Looking at Eavesway which looks like it has better coaches etc but they don’t seem to address the ‘if we’re late the ship will wait for us/leave’ question. Do you know how reliable they are? It sounds very similar to Intercruise in terms of drop off and luggage looked after but I just have a bit of nagging doubt that if we encounter some issues on route down we could miss the sailing! Any advice or reassurance would be greatly appreciated, thank you!

    • Hi Jenny. I haven’t used Eavesway but I have used Intercruises many times and I believe that they have the same system – they’re affiliated with the cruise line so the ship will wait. One coach driver told us that he’d been doing his job for 10 years and the ship had never left without coach passengers, so it seems like the most reliable way to go. Almost all of the Intercruises coaches and drivers have been absolutely lovely – super clean, luxurious coaches and the most friendly, chatty drivers. We only experienced one occasion when it wasn’t that way (no working toilet and a very rude driver who wouldn’t stop en route) I hope that helps. Jenni

      • That’s good to know thanks so much Jenni. The Intercruise does a pick up from within our city so I would prefer to go with them as it’s about an hour to Easvesway pick up! Thanks for the info and all your handy info. Jenny x

      • I think you failed to mention that Intercruise only serves certain cruise lines while Eavesway does the others. So it depends which cruise line you are with as to which of the two companies you book with.

  10. Thank you Jenni for this very useful article. I did not consider the coach before but will definitely consider in future. I frequently find your articles interesting and informative. Keep up the good work!

  11. Hi Jenny,
    Thank you very much for all the honest, unbiased cruise informations you share with others. I have been receiving your mails since the last coupe of months and getting more and more informed and knowledgeable about cruising. Counting down to my first family cruise in August and planning to celebrate my landmark birthday with friends and family in November on a weekend cruise.
    Every time your emails drops in my inbox, I get excited about leaning more tips and advise on cruising. I booked to park at the cruise terminal for our August cruise but never thought of using the coach which would have been more relaxing travelling from South England after reading this today.
    Keep up the good work.

    • Hi Dorris. I’m so pleased to hear you enjoy reading my emails, thanks for that! Perhaps you can take the coach for your next one. Jenni

  12. I am looking at booking a coach as we are travelling from Manchester. Can you please tell me when the cruise line will let you know of your embarking and disembarking time? We are travelling to Southampton the day before and have a hotel booked but I don’t know whether to book a return coach now or wait until nearer the time (we go in September) as there are only a couple of coach times on the return with National Express. (Sorry, 1st time cruiser!)

    • You won’t know your disembarkation time until the last night of your cruise. However, if you can carry your own bags off, you can get off as early as 7 am. Otherwise, it will likely be 8am to 10am roughly. Allow plenty of time to get your coach then you’re not rushing. I hope that helps. Jenni

  13. Eavesway have slim lined their routes and no longer service south wales. Not sure if any coaches go to the cruise terminal from south wales if you want to go on an MSC cruise, best options are train or national express but both require taxi’s at the end

  14. Thank you for this page and the info on it.
    We’re coming from Australia to a Southampton departure cruise and need transport from Heathrow. This helps heaps.
    Thanks & Cheers

  15. Are there coaches going from Cambridge to Southampton cruise terminal from 1 December, returning 5 January 2023

  16. Booked a cruise for 2024 to Norwegian fjords with P&O. Looking at excursions and they are offering them on a sailing day so a bit confused. X

  17. Is there a coach company that travel from Glasgow/Edinburgh to Southampton cruise terminal for NCL cruises?

    • Hi Ruby. There’s not a company that is specific to NCL – you’ll have to book the National Express if you want a coach. The overnight service is the best option since it’ll get you there in plenty of time, but it’s a long journey and includes a change at either Birmingham or London.

  18. Eavesway and cruise connect not picking up from North West fro MSC Cruises

    • It looks like Megabus or National Express would be the best options for MSC sailings. Jenni.

  19. Eavesway not picking up from Scotland any more, they claim it is not viable !!

  20. COACH COMPANIES NOT PICKING UP IN SOUTH WALES FOR PRINCESS CRUISES.

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