Everything you need to know about catching a National Express Coach to Southampton Cruise Terminal.

Can I catch a coach to Southampton Cruise Terminal?

No, not directly. National Express coaches stop at the bus station in Southampton town centre.

How far is Southampton Coach Station from the cruise terminal?

It is possible to walk to all five cruise terminals, but you must consider the distances involved before setting off:

  • Mayflower Cruise Terminal – 1.4 miles
  • Horizon Cruise Terminal – 0.7 miles
  • City Cruise Terminal – 0.7 miles
  • Ocean Cruise Terminal – 1.2 miles
  • QE II Terminal – 1.9 miles

A taxi transfer to the docks is probably the smarter choice when dealing with large suitcases (see below).

Which is the nearest hotel to Southampton Coach Station?

Both the West Quay Premier Inn and the Moxy are a short walk away.

And no, you don’t have to walk around the second roundabout shown in the map above, saving some time and distance.

The map below shows some alternative accommodations. The cruise terminals are denoted by a flag in the image. You can see how few nearby options there are for the Mayflower and Horizon cruise terminals:

Can I get a taxi from Southampton National Express Coach Station?

Without pre-booking, probably not. There is a taxi rank just out the front of the coach station (see map below) but there is rarely a queue of waiting vehicles. 

You could call an Uber or book a West Quay Cars taxi by calling +44 (0)2380 999 999.

Big money baller? You could always book a private transfer from the Cruise Terminal all the way to London – but at £275 each we can’t comment whether the service is good value or not.

Can I catch a regular bus to the cruise terminal at Southampton?

No. None of the cruise terminals is served directly by a public bus route. Even if you do manage to struggle onboard with your suitcases, you will still have to walk quite some distance from the nearest bus stop to your ship.

What facilities are there at Southampton Coach Station?

You will find toilets and a small shop at the Coach Station – if it is open. There is a roof to shelter under if the weather is bad. There is also a small coffee shop, payphone and an automated ticket machine.

Is there a toilet at Southampton Coach Station?

Yes. But it is only accessible when the bus station is open. And if it is like the toilet at Victoria Coach Station, wear a mask – the stench is probably quite bad.

When is the coach station open?

The current opening hours are:

Monday – Thursday: 08:00 – 17:30 (8:00am – 5:30pm)

Friday: 06:45 – 17:30 (6:45am – 5:30pm)

Saturday – Sunday: 07:15 – 17:30 (7:15am – 5:30pm)

Note that coaches do arrive and depart outside these hours, but you will not be able to access any of the facilities inside the station – including the toilets. So if you need to go, use the toilet on the coach before disembarking.

Can I buy National Express tickets at the bus station?

Yes, there is an automated ticket machine – but you can only use it when Southampton Coach Station is open. Buying tickets online may be a smarter move though – that way you can guarantee your seat on the coach to London.

National Express also accept telephone bookings – but they will apply an additional £3 booking fee for doing so.

Is the coach station accessible?

Access from street to coach is completely step-free. But you will need to climb several steps once you are on the bus.

Is there a left luggage office at Southampton Bus Station?

No. And there are no luggage storage options at the nearby railway station either.

Instead you will need to consider using a service like CitySpareSpace to book baggage storage – prices start at £7 per bag. The nearest option appears to be the Maynards Store, a six minute walk away. We’ve not used this service, so cannot provide a personal recommendation.

UK hotels tend to store luggage free of charge which may be a better option if you are staying in Southampton overnight.

What about coaches from London Heathrow Airport to Southampton?

National Express operate several coaches daily between Southampton and London Heathrow Airport. The bus is a viable transfer option if you are doing a fly-cruise vacation.

And National Express coaches from Gatwick to Southampton?

Travelling between Gatwick Airport and Southampton Cruise Terminal is a two-leg trip. Ironically you must first catch a bus to Heathrow Airport, then change to reach your final destination. The same is true if you are hoping to connect with London Stansted Airport.

Probably not the best option if you’re already tired and jet-lagged.

Can you travel by coach to Southampton on the same day you sail?

If your cruise leaves in the afternoon or evening, you could arrive in Southampton in the morning. Just remember that coaches are subject to the same traffic conditions as cars, so if there is a traffic jam anywhere along the route, it will affect arrival times.

And don’t forget – you must also factor in the time required to get from the coach station to your cruise terminal too.

What is the phone number for the National Express Southampton Coach Station?

You cannot call the Southampton bus station direct. However, you can contact customer services for more information on 08717 81 81 81. Calls cost an eye-watering 13p per minute however.

BONUS TIP: You can avoid sky high call charges by using the local-rate number instead: +44 (0)371 781 8181

Is there anything else I should know?

  • Southampton Central railway station is a short walk away, as is the Westquay Shopping Centre
  • There are three coach bays – make sure you board the correct bus if travelling away from the cruise terminal.
  • Speak to the agent at the gate if you have mobility issues. They may be able to board you first, saving a lot of the hassle and discomfort of boarding with the other passengers.

Read our review of the London to Southampton National Express journey.

Would we recommend catching National Express to Southampton Cruise Terminal?

Yes, absolutely. There are several reasons to consider catching a coach to Southampton: 

  • National Express coach tickets are much cheaper than port parking. 
  • You don’t have to worry about where to leave your car on a one-way cruise.
  • Coach travel is also much cheaper than train travel.
  • Speed limits, one-way systems and traffic are all someone else’s problem – much more relaxing than driving yourself!

Do you have another question? Leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to find an answer.


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