In Southampton the roads around the port can become very congested in rush hour and when a ship comes in, with thousands of passengers disembarking, it can become quite chaotic and stressful, with a lot of time spent sat in your car not moving.
If you are driving, then it pays to shop around and not go straight for the main car parks on the port as you have to go through all that traffic congestion and when you are coming home you will be one of potentially thousands of passengers queuing to get your car back.
Off-port parking, with transport to take you and your luggage to the ship, is a great alternative option. You don’t have to sit in the port traffic. Instead take your car to a secure car park for cruise travellers only and then get driven across to the ship directly. Hassle-free.
Alternatively, you can brave a taxi to take you straight to the port, but depending on how far away you live this might not be practical.
There is a train station in Southampton not too far from the port, but if you have lots of heavy suitcases and/or children in tow, it becomes a bit of a trek to get everyone safely to the ship.
Some cruise lines do offer a door-to-door service, picking you up from your house in their own fleet, so when you are booking your holiday make sure you bear this in mind.
If you are going on a fly-cruise holiday it can become even more complicated as you might go from your house to the airport, fly out to your destination, but then come back on the cruise ship so return to the port with all your luggage and no car.
Or the other way round, you leave on the cruise ship with your car safely parked, but fly back into the country to a completely different place. When you are planning your holiday, talk to cruise parking operators like us at Penguin Parking, to find out what kind of solutions there are for these types of holidays.
Some of the larger cruise lines offer free parking at the port or coach transfer, as a perk with the holiday but check out the deals. For example, some offer port parking instead of having on board spending money. However, look into it as you might find that parking with a private car park and opting for money to spend on board works out better value.
Ideally you want your holiday to start when you arrive at your car parking venue, and end when you come back and pick up your car again hassle-free. Do your research and don’t just go with what the cruise lines offer you immediately at booking – it pays to shop around.
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