Transfer to Harwich help!

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4 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
We will be arriving around 10:30am at Terminal 1 in Heathrow on July 15, trying to get to the Harwich terminal (by 5pm). As I understand it, I need to get to the Liverpool street station by Tube, then take the train to Harwich.

I want to get everything in advance so that I don't have to worry about it, but I am having a hard time deciding how much to put on my oyster card (or if I even need one), and if I should buy an "Advanced" train ticket, or an anytime ticket.

I have the following options for the national rail train (note this is price for 2 adults)
12:00, 13:00,14:00- 1 transfer, 22.00 - specific train only
12:00, 13:00,14:00- 1 transfer,61.20 - Travel any time of day, on any permitted route
12:28 - 0 transfers, 60.00 - ticket allows travel on any permitted route

For the Tube, I could take a bunch of different routes to Liverpool street station or take the Heathrow Connect to paddington for 9.50, then take the Tube on the circle line (I think?), or take a taxi.

Basically, what I need help with is which one is easiest / cost effective? And should I book an Advanced or Anytime ticket.

Romsey England
11,502 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Celebrity Infinity?
According to the port schedule she's due to sail at 5pm. So latest registration is likely to be around 3pm. Not necessarily a problem, but you do need to be aware of the time.

Around 10.30 at Heathrow. Is that your flight arrival time? It will take on average 60 to 90 minutes from touch-down to arrivals hall.

From Heathrow to Liverpool Street by tube costs only £6 & will take about an hour in total. You'll have no problem with getting a seat & your luggage close by because you board at the start of the route. But the train is likely to get progressively more crowded, and switching trains is no fun with luggage. Yes, it involves one change. You need the advice of a Londoner on where is easiest to change with luggage.
A pre-booked private transfer Heathrow to Liverpool Street will cost in the order of £45. Simpler, but at 45 to 60 minutes it's not a great time-saver.
By Heathrow Express to Paddington station then tube or taxi to Liverpool Street will save only a few minutes & cost at least as much as a private transfer.

Because you're flying in same-day, and have to cross to Liverpool Street station on the other side of central London, a ticket for a specified train isn't a good idea unless you book for a fairly late train - say 1.00pm, arrive Harwich International 2.17pm. That's right alongside the ship. Do check Celebrity's latest check-in before booking.
That involves a change of train at Manningtree, where you have to use steps down to a tunnel under the tracks & up to the next platform - there's no elevator or escalator. Although theoretically you only have five minutes for the change, the second train is timed to connect & if the first train is a few minutes late the second train will wait.
There is a cruise-special train which goes direct, but that departs at 12.28. Despite the cost, it would be ideal because apart from the simplicity if there's a delay it will affect hundreds of cruisers & the boarding process/sailing will be delayed to cope.

Better than all these options is likely to be a transfer by either ship's own coaches (yes, they're expensive) or a privately-operated equivalent on this link
But you need to check the departure times of those coaches, your arrival time might be too late.

(note: IMHO the option also mentioned on that website, of scheduled Nat Express coach then two trains is too slow & infrequent & complicated)

You could alternatively pre-book a private transfer from airport to ship, takes about 2 to 2.5 hours, cost in the order of £150.
Or check your RollCall to see if anyone's looking for van sharers.

Lots of options, but really needs your flight arrival time & your ship's latest boarding.

An Oyster card is not worthwhile for that one trip.

213 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
We used Exclusive Airports from hotel in London and from Harwich to Heathrow. I checked the cost for two people from Heathrow to Harwich and the cost is 113GBP for this particular transfer service. We found them very reliable and the vans they provided for us quite comfortable. As you are only two people, the car they will provide would be adequate.

I do not know where you arriving from at Heathrow but after a long flight, do you really want to use all those methods of transportation to get to the ship.
The Big Easy
18,948 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
JB, your advice it invaluable. Thank you. Let me go one step further. We plan to spend a few nights in Paris prior to embarking Infinity in Harwich. Please give me some suggestions making that trip. Is car rental an option between countries? What about private taxi/limo service? I'm more concerned with ease than cost. Flying isn't out of the question, but I don't prefer it, and I certainly don't prefer trains since my DW tends to overpack. Thanks in advance.
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Romsey England
11,502 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by Aquahound
JB, your advice it invaluable. Thank you. Let me go one step further. We plan to spend a few nights in Paris prior to embarking Infinity in Harwich. Please give me some suggestions making that trip. Is car rental an option between countries? What about private taxi/limo service? I'm more concerned with ease than cost. Flying isn't out of the question, but I don't prefer it, and I certainly don't prefer trains since my DW tends to overpack. Thanks in advance.
For a number of major reasons, dropping a French rental car in the UK isn't a sensible option - in fact it's probably not even a permitted option.
You'd need to drive to Calais, drop the car, cross on the ferry as foot-passengers, pick up another rental car in Dover & drive to Harwich. Total journey time over 8 hours, 5 of those driving - some of it on London's congested M25 orbital road. You could instead book a private transfer from Dover. E-mail for a quote, but expect it to be around £200

The nearest international airports to Harwich are over an hour away, and I think the nearest with direct flights from Paris are Norwich & London City, both 90 minutes away. A pre-booked private transfer from either I guess will be around £100 to £130.

You don't like the idea of the train
You'd best start getting used to liking it
Cos it's by far the most obvious way.
Eurostar leaves from central Paris (Gare du Nord) so it'll be pretty convenient to a central Paris hotel.
Frequent trains, cost from just $68 & take 2hrs 20 minutes to London's St Pancras International.
Taxi 2.5 miles from St Pancras station to Liverpool Street station takes ten minutes, costs about £12.
Train from Liverpool Street to Harwich International takes about 75 minutes, involves one change, costs from £11. Or the cruise special costs about £30, direct to ship.

The luggage limitations on Eurostar are pretty generous (2 cases plus hand luggage per passenger) but more luggage than that is problematic. There is a registration system for excess baggage, not expensive but may not tie in with your onward journey - in which case sending some bags ahead might be the answer. Check their terms, mebbe e-mail them on the subject.
But excess baggage on flights out of Paris is extremely expensive, on top of the airfares & transfers. And if the aircraft is full, your bags might not travel on the same aircraft - check terms & conditions.

Of course you could mix & match - for instance flight to London City, taxi to Liverpool Street, train to Harwich.

But Eurostar is so obviously the best route - would a divorce be out of the question?

Redditch England
1,856 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
I agree about using Eurostar - it is just so much more convenient. You could book a car to take you to Harwich from St Pancras though, thus saving the hassle of the cross-London part of the trip.
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