Southampton Port with its two tides and 17 hours of high waters each day is Britain's premier cruise port. Five Cruise Terminals sit along the West and East Docks with terminal buildings well equipped with a range of services. Southampton Central Station (with links to Southampton Airport) is just a short taxi ride away and you'll find a fantastic choice of B&B and hotel cruise and park packages in and around Southampton port and city centre. A regular ferry service runs from Southampton to Cowes on the Isle of Wight. You can choose from either a fast foot passenger only service to West Cowes or the slightly longer car passenger route to East Cowes. Whilst on board there are refreshments available and lounge areas or you can take a stroll round the deck for views of the Hampshire coast or the Isle of Wight as you near it. The Hythe Ferry provides a handy ferry service across Southampton Water with views towards the Southampton Cruise Terminals.
Southampton is Britain's top cruise port for world and transatlantic cruise departures and arrivals. The port has several cruise terminals including QE2, Mayflower, Ocean, City and a recently added fifth terminal on the Western Docks. You'll find an excellent choice of Southampton hotels and Bed and Breakfast accommodation within a one to five mile radius of cruise terminal departure points. Stylish contemporary apartments are widely available around Ocean Village Marina which sits conveniently close to Eastern Dock cruise terminals including Ocean Cruise Terminal and the QE2 Cruise Terminal.
Southhampton city centre accommodation is within easy reach of ferry and cruise links, or opt for the choice of quality hotels directly adjacent to Terminals. Many hotels and B&Bs offer great park and cruise deals plus transfer links to departure points. Flanking the A33, Southampton's Cruise Terminals are conveniently placed near motorway links and Southampton Central station. Quality chain hotels including Ibis, Novotel and Holiday Inn sit very close to Cruise Terminals, and Southampton Hotel Cruise Packages often include up to 14 nights parking and transfers to Cruise Terminals. No need for a long drive on your day of departure - arrive relaxed and refreshed at your cruise terminal. Find a Southampton hotel cruise package online now.
Each of Southampton's Cruise Terminals is design specific, catering for different cruise markets. All the big Cruise Companies operate from Southampton including Fred Olsen, Cunard, P&O, Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises. The five cruise terminals include City Cruise Terminal - Berth 101 which is off West Quay Road signposted Dock Gate 10. The nearest station is Southampton Central which has direct links with Southampton Airport. Parkway links run regularly between this major Southampton Cruise Terminal which catersfor the larger of the ships coming into Southampton and is one of the busiest cruise terminals.
Mayflower Cruise Terminal at Berth 106 is another of Southampton's major cruise terminals easily reached just off the A33 in the Western Docks area - follow Dock Gate 10 signs. Southampton Central Station is only around a 20 minute walk away. Ocean Cruise Terminal at Berth 46/47 on the Eastern Docks is again just off the A33 - allow ample time to reach this one of Southampton's busiest cruise terminals. Southampton Central station is 2 miles away with a taxi rank adjacent. The fourth major cruise terminal located at Eastern Docks is the QEII Cruise Terminal, Berth 38/39 just off the A33. Follow the clear signs for Dock Gate 4. The Eastern Docks area is around 2 miles from Southampton Central Station which has rail links to Southampton Airport. Following huge increases in the popularity of the cruise market, a fifth cruise terminal has opened at Southampton in the Western Docks area at Bert 10, just off Herbert Walker Avenue. This terminal is to accommodate the largest of the cruise ships.
Take your pick of parking choice around busy Southampton Cruise Terminals from Short and Long term parking facilities to great park and cruise hotel packages. Two main cruise parking companies - CPS/ Cruise & Passenger Services and ABP Parking Southampton offer an extensive choice of parking options. Each caters for passengers sailing with designated cruise companies, for example ABP guarantees parking at Southampton Port for Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, MSC, NCL, Saga and Fred Olsen customers.
Red Funnel Ferries run the Red Jet Hi-Speed passenger catamarans service to Cowes. It's a foot passenger ferry service only and you don't even need to book - just turn up and travel. The journey takes just 23 minutes and runs throughout the year, seven days a week. Red Funnel Ferries also run a car passenger ferry service from Southampton to East Cowes. Crossings depart hourly and take just under an hour. These are the largest ferries running services to the Isle of Wight and not only take foot passengers but all sizes of vehicles that will fit under a motorway bridge. There is a bar, coffee bar and cafe on board as well as a games area and outdoor deck. It is free to take bicycles or pets across and you'll need to report to terminal staff on arrival to organise appropriate storage.
Hythe Ferry is a useful link to Southampton from Hythe to the south west of the city, across Southampton Water. It departs from Hythe Pier which also carries a walkway, cycleway and Hythe Pier Railway - great if you don't fancy the walk. The Hythe Railway is the world's oldest pier train and times its services to meet the ferry as it departs and arrives at the Pier. Hythe Ferry runs every half hour and carries foot passengers and bicycles. It takes just 10 minutes to arrive at Town Quay in Southampton. Town Quay is also the departure point for Red Funnel's Ferries to the Isle of Wight. It's only a short walk from the Quay into Southampton city centre - great for shopping. You can also pick up the free Green Bus which takes you on to the railway at Central Station. The ferry trip takes you past the home berth of the cruise liners Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2.