OK all you seasoned cruisers. We are thinking of a cruise to Northern Europe (yes, I know that Carnival isn't going there next year but I am not getting any younger either) so it will probably have to be that something of the Seas thing. Looks like Harwich is the embarkation port. What is the best airport to fly into Heathrow or Gatwick? What is the best way to get to Harwich (the port)? Are there airport transfers available? We normally like to cross the pond and arrive a day earlier then we need to (for a Wed cruise embarkation we would like to arrive on Tues departing the States on Mon). Any ideas on hotels?
I have never flown into Harwick - only Heathrow. Transportation in the UK is not cheap but if you have maybe four people you can hire a car from London to any port for a little over L100 (100 pounds sterling). That would be a private car service (look them up on the internet and book one in advance).
There are also trains & busses. With the busses be VERY sure you get an express, not a local. I made that mistake once and it took me several hours to reach Southampton - it was just a good thing I had decided to arrive a day early.
If you want to save on a hotel you can always get the redeye to the UK and take an early train or bus to the ship.
Gatwick is way out of your way....
I would fly into Heathrow and then just go into central London for your pre cruise night. From Heathrow you can catch the Heathrow express train to Paddington or the tube (subway) to your hotel location. http://www.heathrowairport.com/trans...ng-into-London
We stay at the Strand Palace, right in the heart of London, a stone's throw from Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, you can stroll to Westminster etc..
In the morning get a taxi to Liverpool St station,(about 5 miles from that hotel) for a train to Harwich - a journey of about an hour and half. They leave hourly. Depending on time of travel you may have to change trains at Manningtree. Harwich International station is at the cruise port. National Rail Enquiries - Journey Planner - Trains Times and Fares
Gatwick is a bit further away but also has direct links into London where you would need to get across to the correct station for the train to Harwich.
Neither are ideal, and both are going to be pretty much the same as far as timings go if you take the trains, so most likely comes down to a matter of cost & arrival times.
Heathrow does have an option of a coach service, either via London Victoria or possbily direct, but that is also a long journey, not nice after a long flight.
Is there any reason why you want to travel from Harwich? Dover has several lines running there now, and is a bit easier, or Southampton is by far the easiest - although you then have to spend a day sailing to/from the Northern Europe coastline.
Last Cruise: Queen Victoria November 2014