Interesting facts and ideas for your own trip along the British coast
- Regular berth: Queen Elisabeth 2 Cruise Terminal - Berth 38/39
- Regular berth: Ocean Cruise Terminal - Berth 46/47
- Regular berth: City Cruise Terminal - Berth 101
- Regular berth: Mayflower Cruise Terminal - Berth 106
- Port shuttle: partly available free of charge
- Taxis: usually available on the quay
- Buses: the well-developed route network is served by several private bus companies
- Car rental*: Sixt, 22-24 Millbrook Road E and at the airport
- Car rental*: Hertz, West Quay Road
- Car rental*: Avis, Southampton Road and at the airport
- Post Office: 32-34 Above Bar Street
- Tourist-Info: at the Cruise Terminal and Oceans at 160 High Street
- Banks and ATMs: mainly in the pedestrian zone on Above Bar Street
- Entry Checks
Normally, passport checks are carried out on the ships by the British authorities after docking. Participation is mandatory for all passengers, including those who wish to stay on board. Excursion groups (organized excursions of the shipping companies) are often given priority during the checks. This can lead to delays of the own excursion.
- Berths of the Cruise Liners
Southampton has 4 cruise terminals with their associated berths. Depending on the berth you choose, you will need more or less time to get to the selected destinations. Taxis are usually available at all terminals in sufficient quantity. The information stands in the buildings are usually manned by friendly and helpful people after the cruise ship has moored.
- Berth Queen Elisabeth 2
The Queen Elisabeth 2 Cruise Terminal - Berth 38/39, Test Road, Eastern Docks, is the most remote berth and is currently used regularly by Aida*, among others. A taxi to Southampton Central Station, 3.5 kilometres away, costs around £10 and you can expect a 10-15 minute journey. Walking this distance takes 45-50 minutes. On days with many cruise ship passengers in Southampton, a free urban shuttle bus leaves from the terminal to the SeaCity Museum on Havelock Road, which takes 10-15 minutes without stopping. From here, the train station is only 500 metres away (west) and the pedestrian area with shopping mile 5-10 minutes (south). In the terminal itself, there are information stands and free city maps. Taxis are usually sufficiently available. The public shuttle bus leaves from the Cruise Terminal at 09:15 / 10:00 / 10:30 / 11:00 / 11:30 / 12:00 / 13:00 / 14:00 / 15:00 / 15:45 / 16:15 and returns from the SeaCity Museum at 09:30 / 10:15 / 10:45 / 11:15 / 11:45 / 12:15 / 13:15 / 14:15 / 15:15 / 16:00. The first and last trips are often quite busy. Alternatively, the airport bus line U1A is a good alternative. It departs from the nearby National Oceanography Centre (NOCS), and runs every 10 minutes during the day in the direction of the airport (Airport Parkway), stopping at Town Quay (ferries) and Central Station. A single ticket costs £2 per adult, children £1.50. On the way back, direction NOCS, the line is called U1C.
- Berth Ocean Cruise Terminal
The Ocean Cruise Terminal - Berth 46/47, Cunard Road, Eastern Docks, is a little more central than the QE II Terminal. A public shuttle bus runs between the Ocean Cruise Terminal and Town Quay Marina. The nearest stop on the U1 bus line is near the port shuttle stop, north of the Town Quay berth, close to the Red Funnel ferries and about 600 metres away. The distance to the main station is about 2.3 kilometres, and takes about 30-40 minutes on foot. Shopping in the northern city centre is 1.5 kilometres and takes about 20-30 minutes on foot. In the terminal itself, there are information stands and free city maps. Taxis are usually available in sufficient numbers.
- Berth City Cruise Terminal
The City Cruise Terminal - Berth 101, Solent Road, Western Docks, is located 700 metres from Town Quay, the ferry dock. Southampton Central Station is 1.1 kilometres, about 15-20 minutes walk. Shopping in the north-east centre is also about 1.1 kilometres and about 15-20 minutes' walk. In the terminal itself, there are information stands and free city maps. Taxis are usually available in sufficient numbers.
- Berth Mayflower Cruise Terminal
The western Mayflower Cruise Terminal - Berth 106, located on Herbert Walker Avenue, Western Docks, is about 2 kilometers from Town Quay, the ferry pier. Southampton Central Station is 1.4 kilometers, about 20-25 minutes walk. To shop in the eastern part of the city centre, the distance is about 2.2 kilometres and takes 30-35 minutes on foot. In the terminal itself, there are information stands and free city maps. Taxis are usually available in sufficient numbers.
- Southampton Public Transport
The well-developed public transport system in Southampton is mainly provided by the three bus companies Firstgroup, Bluestarbus and Unilinkbus. In Salisbury the buses of the Salisburyreds operate and also serve the surrounding area as far as Southampton.
- Central Station and Free Bus
From Southampton Central Station, for example, you can get to Salisbury or London. This is 1.1-3.5 kilometres away from the moorings. Depending on the terminal, it takes about 15-50 minutes to walk one way. A shuttle bus (free bus) runs from the ferry piers at Town Quay to the station. This is free for train and ferry users with a valid ticket. Otherwise £1 per person is charged. If you are travelling by British train, you should possibly use a return ticket (there and back), as these tickets are usually cheaper than paying twice for a single journey. For example, a one-way ticket to Winchester costs £18. For a comparable return ticket you only have to pay one pound more.
- Free Bus
- Church, Gate House and Shopping Facilities
Southampton has an extensive pedestrian area and shopping mile in the city centre, with the large adjoining shopping temples WestQuay Shopping Centre and Marlands Shopping Centre. Shops of many well-known brands and chains are located there. From the ferry pier Town Quay it is a 15-20 minute walk. Following the High Street to the north you will also find the ruins of the 1320 built and 1940 destroyed Holyrood Church on Bernard Street. Further on, you will pass the medieval gatehouse Bargate. The former city gate was integrated into the mighty city wall and was built in 1180. Today it is under monumental protection.
- Museum of Local History
The Tudor House on Bugle Street is one of Southampton's most important historic buildings. Opposite is the small church Saint Michael's Church. The Tudor House houses a small local history museum with an open-air area and takes up the centuries-old history of the city. The house was reopened in 2011 after extensive renovation work. It is open Tuesday to Friday from 10:00-15:00 and Saturday/Sunday from 10:00-17:00. Monday is closed. The entrance fee for adults is £4.75. A family ticket is available for £13.50.
- Titanic Exhibition
The extensive SeaCity Museum is located in the Civic Centre on Havelock Road. The free shuttle bus from the Queen Elisabeth 2 Cruise Terminal - Berth 38/39 stops here, and the Titanic Exhibition is an interesting part of the museum. Apart from that, there is a lot to learn about the maritime history of Southampton. Open daily from 10:00-17:00. The entrance fee for adults is 8,50 pounds. A family ticket is available for 25 pounds. Children under 5 years of age have free entry.
- Aircraft Museum
Near the harbour on Albert Road South, you will find the Solent Sky Aircraft Museum. The museum reflects the local history of aviation. The exhibited pieces and airplanes are partly quite rare. A visit to the former warehouse is worthwhile for interested visitors. Among other things, you can admire an original Spitfire. The small area is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00-17:00 and Sunday from 12:00-17:00. Outside the school holidays it is closed on Monday. The entrance fee for adults is £7.50. For children from 5 to 16 years old 5 pounds are charged. A family ticket is available for £17. Children under 5 have free entry.
- Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight, located south of Southampton, is a very natural island and can be reached in 25 minutes by Red Jet ferry (Speedferry) from the harbour. Destination of the speed ferry is West Cowes. The crossing by car ferry takes 60 minutes, and you arrive almost on the opposite side, in East Cowes. The ferry pier Town Quay in Southampton is centrally located between the cruise ship berths. There you can also buy tickets for the ferries' return journey. You can also buy day tickets for the use of the public island buses. These bus tickets currently cost £10 for adults. For children from 5 to 16 years of age, half of this is called for. This means that all buses from Southern Vectis can be used. The bus network is well branched and developed. Interesting destinations such as the beaches, Blackgang Chine Fantasy Park with life-size dinosaurs, Robin Hill Adventure Park, Carisbrooke Castle, the Dinosaur Museum Dinosaur Isle, Osborne House (former country estate of Queen Victoria), a small zoo or the historic Steam Railway are within easy reach. In Ryde, the second largest town on the island, one of the last hovercraft connections is still in operation, connecting the town with Portsmouth. At the Needles, you can take a chairlift down to the beach. During the summer months, there is also a sightseeing line in the Hop On Hop Off principle. In West Cowes (fast ferry), there is a bus stop directly at the exit of the harbour building, in front of the archway. Behind the passage is the High Street with small shops and nice restaurants. Not far from there is a small rental car provider. The available vehicles are not the newest ones. The different bus lines of the Isle of Wight meet in Newport. So there, a change of the line is necessary, depending on the destination.
- Salisbury and Stonehenge
Those who want to see Stonehenge and Old Sarum can take the train to Salisbury, 40 kilometres away. The train takes about 30 minutes and runs every half hour during the summer season. Out of season every hour. Cheaper group tickets can be purchased for groups of four or more people. In Salisbury, Hop On Hop Off double decker buses depart from the station, with stops in Salisbury, Old Sarum and Stonehenge. They run hourly from 10:00-16:00. The bus stop is located on the left hand side of the station exit. Combined tickets for this bus and Stonehenge or single tickets bus only, can be purchased from the driver (cash only). The combined solution saves you the often long queue at the ticket office in Stonehenge (very limited number of tickets available on site), and you can go directly to the entrance of the Visitor Centre. The museum located there, is 2 kilometres from the stones. A shuttle service facilitates the way. The historic stone circle is open daily from 09:00-20:00 during the summer months. Outside this time is open at least from 09:30-17:00. Last admission is 2 hours before closing. An adult ticket costs £14.50. For children from 5-15 years it costs 8.70 pounds each. Families with two adults and up to 3 children can buy a family ticket for £37.70. It is important to note that the access takes place within a fixed time. This means that those who arrive by rental car or taxi (from Salisbury about 23 pounds for one direction), and also want to be sure to get in or not wait forever, should book in advance, as mainly tickets are sold for fixed periods. Or use the Hop On Hop Off bus. Only a few tickets can be purchased directly at the ticket office. If you have booked a trip via the shipping companies, there are usually no waiting times at the entrance.
- Salisbury Cathedral
The steeple of Salisbury Cathedral, at 123 metres, is the highest in Britain. The imposing cathedral, built between 1220 and 1258, is open Monday to Saturday from 09:00-17:00, and Sundays from 12:00-16:00. Admission is free. Bookable tower tours lead to dizzying heights, offer the best views of the surrounding area and cost £12.50 per adult. These tours then last 90 minutes. A small café, souvenir shop and free toilets are available. The distance to the train station is about 1.1 kilometres and can be covered on foot in 15-20 minutes.
- Old Sarum
Three kilometres north of Salisbury is Old Sarum, or the ruins of the village founded in 3000 BC. The Stonehenge Hop On Hop Off Bus has a stopover here. So, this historical site is easily accessible. It is open daily from 10:00-16:00 and in the summer months from 10:00-18:00. If you want to visit the inner ring, the entrance fee is 4,50 pounds per adult. Children from 5 to 15 years pay 2.70 pounds. Families are admitted for 11.70 pounds. Valid for 2 adults and up to 3 children. The Stonehenge Sightseeing Bus offers combination tickets that include Old Sarum.
An excursion to London is only partly recommendable due to the transfer time. With the bus, one needs approximately 2,5-3 hours for one direction. From Southampton Central, you can expect a train ride of about 90 minutes each way. A centrally located destination would be London Waterloo. This station offers the change to the tube and is not far from the London Eye and Big Ben. In the immediate vicinity is the stop of a Hop On Hop Off bus. Before using it, one should consider that it can also be stopped by traffic jams from time to time. Further sightseeings are easy to reach from there. When buying the tickets, it is advisable to buy the cheaper Off-Peak Tickets. These are offered for the times with less traffic. Outside the rush hours you have a free choice of train. There are also trains on the way where you have to change trains, others drive through at a stretch. Most of the times, free W-Lan is also available during the trip. For those who want to get around in London a lot with the public means of transport, the London One-Day-Travelcard, for the use of the bus and the subway, is a good choice. With this card, one gets a discount for some boat trips on the Themse river. The costs for the one-day off-peak-variant, zone 1-6, for the adults are of approximately 15 euros. Children are charged half. Off-peak, thus non-productive time, is valid in London from Monday to Friday from 09:30 a.m. and during the weekends all day. Train tickets can be purchased in advance on the internet or at the Southampton Central station. Single tickets for the red London buses must be purchased in advance in newsagents or from vending machines. These can be found at the important bus stops, among others. Cash payment on the bus is not possible.
- Portsmouth Naval Museum
In Portsmouth, southeast of Southampton, the British Royal Navy has an important base. The largest naval museum in Europe is also located here. From Southampton Central Station you can get to Portsmouth Harbour Station by train within one hour. Right next door is the Gunwharf Quays shopping centre, which is open daily. North of it is the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard with historic ships such as the HMS Warrior and the HMS Victory of Admiral Nelson. A tour of the outdoor area is free of charge. Admission to the exhibitions and ships is subject to a fee, and is regulated by the purchase of an All Attraction Annual Pass or individual tickets for the respective exhibition. Southampton Station offers South-West Trains combined tickets for rail transfer/entrance to the exhibitions. The Dockyards are open daily from 10:00-17:30 from April to October. In winter from 10:00-17:00.
- Birthplace of Charles Dickens
In addition, the writer Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth in 1812. His birthplace is located at 393 Old Commercial Road, now serves as a small museum and can be visited. Also weddings are held here. It is about 2.2 kilometres from the railway station.
- Paultons Theme Park
The small, well-kept amusement park Paultons Park is about 15 kilometres away from the moorings. By taxi or rental car it takes 15-20 minutes in each direction. The taxi costs about 25-30 pounds each way. In addition, the bus line X7 stops right in front of the main entrance. You can get on the bus in Southampton at the train station, for example. The park is lovingly designed and family friendly. So many rides and attractions are made for the little ones. There are also a few roller coasters, water slides, zoo elements and beautiful green areas. The park is open daily from April to September. In the winter half year with interruptions.
- Garden and Railway
The Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway, a beautiful woodland and heathland area south of Southampton, covers an area of 80 hectares. A small part of it can be explored by the Exbury Gardens Steam Railway. The 20-minute round trip normally takes place between 11:00 and 16:00 every hour. On days with high visitor numbers also more often. There is also a buggy service for visitors with reduced mobility according to the Hop On Hop Off principle. The open minibus stops at 10 stops within the 40-minute round trip, and costs £4.50 per person. The facility is open daily from 10:00-18:00 between March and November. Garden & Railway admission is currently £15.50 per adult. For children aged 3-15 years, about half of this is charged. Family tickets and cheaper single tickets are also available. To get there, you can take the ferry to Hythe from Town Quay in Southampton. Tickets can be bought from the ticket machines. Return tickets cost £6.50 per person. The pier in Hythe is quite long. If you don't want to walk, you can use the small, rustic and free train. Once ashore, taxis are usually available to take you to the next stop. One direction is about 10 km/15 minutes/20 pounds. In summer you can also take the Beachbus or the New Forest Tour Bus (green line).
If you have already crossed over to Hythe, the small village of Beaulieu might be of interest. About 10 kilometres from the ferry pier, you will find the Beaulieu Castle, the Abbey Monastery, World of Top Gear and the National Motor Museum. The oldest monorail in England and the oldtimer bus are available to cross the extensive area. Admission to the grounds or exhibitions is available to adults at the ticket office for £24. Children aged 5-17 years are charged 12 pounds. Families pay £64. Tickets can be purchased online, in advance at a reduced price. In the summer half year is open daily from 10:00-18:00. In the winter half year from 10:00-17:00 o'clock.
- Excursion Portals and Excursion Providers
Through the tour and excursion providers GetYourGuide*, Meine Landausflüge* and Viator*, you can book various excursions, activities, tours, tickets and admission tickets in Southampton, which are often offered at much lower prices than comparable excursions offered by the shipping companies. This means that if you book well in advance, you can enjoy a wide range of excursions on your own.
A small preselection of independent tour operators
for, in and around Southampton,
we have compiled for you here.
- Cruises and Special Offers
If you have not yet booked a cruise in Western Europe, but would like to get to know Southampton personally and make excursions on your own, you will find great offers from the major cruise operators in the German-speaking world. Aida*, Costa* and Tui Cruises - Mein Schiff* offer attractive routes with their modern cruise ships, together with other interesting destinations. Book your next dream holiday directly with your favourite shipping company at fair conditions.
All ocean and river cruises can also be booked conveniently and inexpensively online with the sea travel specialist Kreuzfahrten-Zentrale Astoria*. This means that you can choose from a wide range of up-to-date offers from various shipping companies. These include AIDA Cruises, Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and TUI Cruises. Also attractive are the popular special offers, with which one can travel at a particularly low price and possibly also get a great bargain.
- Opening hours of the post office: Monday to Friday from 09:00-17:00
- Opening hours of the banks: Monday to Friday from 09:30-15:30
- Opening hours of the tourist information office: Monday to Saturday from 09:00-18:00. Sunday from 10:00-16:00.
- Opening hours of the shops: Monday to Friday from 09:00-20:00. Saturday from 09:00-19:00. Sunday from 11:00-17:00 o'clock.
- General emergency call: Tel. 112
- Police: Tel. 999
- Emergency doctor: Tel. 999
- Fire department: Tel. 999
- Recommended vaccination: Tropical Institute Great Britain
- Buses: Firstgroup
- Buses: Bluestarbus
- Buses: Unilinkbus
- Train timetables: Rail connections The Train Line
- Train timetables: Rail connections National Express
- Train timetables: Train connections South West Trains
- Train timetables: Train connections First Great Western
- Map of the city: Southampton Map
- Climatic table: Southampton Climate
- Port occupancy: Cruise ships in Southampton
- Port occupancy: Registered berths
- National currency: Pound sterling, GBP (Great Britain Pound), 1 GBP = 100 pence
More port information of popular cruise destinations in Western Europe