- Fully refundable and amendable up until 14 days before travel
Pre cruise London packages
The perfect way to start your cruise holiday with a short break in England's capital city, London. Our most popular pre cruise package includes arrival and departure transfers, sightseeing and accommodation. Different durations are available, please see the 'Book this Tour' section on the right of this page.
Pre Cruise Package includes:
Private arrival transfer from London Heathrow Airport to your hotel
3*, 4* or 5* London city centre hotel
Fully guided London sightseeing tour with entry to Tower of London, St.Paul's Cathedral and River Thames cruise (transfer to tour starting point included*)
Shared cruise transfer London to Southampton. Optional upgrade to include a visit to Stonehenge or Windsor
10% discount on any International Friends Small & Friendly day trip
Flexible booking guarantee
Day 1 - Arrival Transfer
On arrival into London Heathrow Airport, you will be met by your own chauffeur and transferred to your London city centre hotel. After check in, the remainder of the day is free to explore the city or relax at your leisure. Please note that if you are arriving at London Gatwick Airport, a supplement will apply. This can be booked in the 'Book this Tour' section on the right of this page.
Day 2 - Fully guided London sightseeing tour
Your day begins with a guided tour of the world famous St.Paul's Cathedral, burial place of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson and the Duke of Wellington and wedding venue of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. Our arrival at opening time gets us inside before the big crowds. We then follow the Thames through the heart of London to the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Big Ben for a photo stop. We continue to the Queen's official London residence, Buckingham Palace to enjoy the pomp and ceremony of the changing of the Royal Guards (subject to operating dates)**. Witness the regal splendour of the foot soldiers, the spectacle of the immaculate horse guards and the sound of the regimental brass bands.
After some time for lunch, entry is included to the one thousand year old fortress at The Tower of London. Here you will learn of real life tales of torture, execution, Royal prisoners, and life in a former Royal Palace, before having a chance to admire and marvel at the Crown Jewels.
Your sightseeing tour ends with a guided boat cruise on the River Thames, where you will enjoy a commentary and excellent views of The Shard, Shakespeare's Globe and the Houses of Parliament. Your tour ends in Westminster, in the shadow of the London Eye and Parliament, a great location to continue exploring or return to your hotel.
*Transfer for London tour not included if you are staying at the Clermont Victoria. This hotel is a short walking distance of the tour starting point. Transfer included from all other hotels.
**Changing of the Guard runs on Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Sunday only, and may be cancelled at short notice.
Day 3 - Free day in London or explore England
With a world class selection of attractions, museums, galleries, shops and restaurants you will be spoilt for choice for things to do in London. Visit the British Museum or Natural History Museum, explore the vibrant West End and Theatreland, sample a pint in a traditional English pub or a cream tea in Harrods. Head over to vibrant Covent Garden for boutique stores, street entertainers and a great choice of food outlets, or to historic Trafalgar Square with Nelson’s Column and visit the nearby National Gallery and adjacent National Portrait Gallery.
If you would like to see more of England we have a fantastic selection of small group day trips from London, destinations include:
Windsor, Bath & Stonehenge
Oxford, Cotswolds & Stratford Upon Avon
Stonehenge, Glastonbury & Avebury - The Legend of King Arthur
Warner Bros Studio Tour London, The Making of Harry Potter
All Pre Cruise London customers receive a 10% discount voucher which can be used on any International Friends small & friendly day trip from London.
Day 4 - Transfer to Southampton
After a buffet breakfast in your hotel, you will be transferred directly to Southampton by executive vehicle.
Alternatively, if you would like to add a travel supplement and include some sightseeing on the way, we have two coach transfer options;
London to Southampton via Stonehenge; your upgraded transfer will include a 90 - 120 minute visit to Stonehenge. Learn of the people and methods used to construct the circle, the purpose, and how many questions still remain unanswered! Your visit to Stonehenge will include entry to Stonehenge centre, the Stone Circle and allows time to visit the gift shop.
London to Southampton via Windsor; your upgraded transfer will include a 90 - 120 minute stop at Windsor Castle. Windsor is the oldest and largest continuously occupied castle in the world, and official home of Queen Elizabeth II. This is your opportunity to visit the lavish state apartments and the Royal Chapel of St George, the resting place of many of our Kings and Queens.
With all transfer options we plan to arrive at Southampton cruise terminals by 13:30/14:00.
Day One - Arrival Airport Transfer
When and where will I meet my driver?
After you have collected your luggage, you will walk through into the arrivals hall. Your driver will be waiting in the arrivals hall, holding an 'International Friends' welcome board, with the lead passengers name on.
Our drivers monitor all flight numbers, and will enter the arrivals hall 30 minutes after your actual landing time. Our driver will then wait for you for a further 60 minutes - this gives you 90 minutes to make your way through the airport. Your driver will walk you to the vehicle, helping with your lugagge should you wish them to. You do not have to worry if your flight is delayed en route, as flight numbers are monitored.
If you would like to select a later meeting time please let us know in the ‘Additional Comments’ box during the booking process. In your Welcome Pack, you will find an emergency contact number. If you are delayed at any point in the airport, you must phone this number.
How long will it take to get to my hotel?
London Heathrow to London city centre: approximately 45-60 minutes
London Gatwick to London city centre: approximately 75-90 minutes
What happens if we need to delay our pick up due to a late or cancelled flight?
If your flight is delayed, we will not charge for amending your pick-up time.
If your flight is cancelled, you miss your flight or you are delayed getting through the airport you must contact us as soon as possible on the number given in your Welcome Pack. We will do our best to accommodate a new pick up time.
The driver will wait for a maximum of 90 minutes after your flight has landed. After this you driver may be forced to leave, we may not be able to guarantee your transfer and you may be liable for waiting charges.
We strongly recommend travel insurance to protect you from unforeseen delays or other factors beyond your control.
How much lugagge can I bring?
Each person is allowed a maximum of 2 items of hold luggage (23kg each) and 2 items of carry on luggage (10kg each). Should you wish to bring any mobility aids (wheelchairs or walkers) you MUST contact us in advance to let us know. We will require full dimensions and weight. These items must be able to be folded and stored in the luggage hold. Wheelchairs must be counted as 1 item of your hold luggage. Additional charges will be incurred should you bring additional items of luggage or for items weighing more than the maximum weight stated above.
Should we tip our driver?
Tips are entirely at the customer’s discretion and in no way expected. Should you feel inclined to tip your driver would be grateful, but you should not feel obliged.
Day Two - Welcome To London Tour
Where is the meeting point for my Welcome to London Tour?
This tour will depart at 07.45am from London Victoria Coach Station, Gate 19.
How do I get from my hotel to Victoria Coach Station?
A transfer will be arranged for you for all hotels except the below. Your driver will collect you from the hotel lobby between 06:45am and 07:00am, and take you to the meeting point.
This is a 2 minute walk from the meeting point, so a transfer will not be provided. Please make your own way across the road to London Victoria, Gate 19 for 07.30am.
How will I get from the hotel to Southampton cruise terminal?
A shared transfer is included as part of this package. You will be collected by our driver and transferred from London to Southampton cruise terminal by luxury minivan. This is a shared transfer service (not a private transfer), with maximum 6 people per vehicle. London city centre pick ups will be completed between 09:45am and 10:45am.
If you have upgraded to include additional sightseeing, your pick up time will be between 7.00am and 8.00am.
For all transfer options, your exact pick up time will depend on the hotel you have selected. All pick up times will be detailed in your Welcome Pack.
I have included additional sightseeing. Will there be enough time?
We offer transfers from London to Southampton via some fantastic locations - these can be added on to your booking using the boxes on the right hand side of this page. On every transfer, we will stop for at least 90 - 120 minutes, which is enough time for a visit.
Where will I meet the driver?
Please be waiting in the hotel reception/lobby area from 10 minutes before your confirmed pick up time. Your driver will collect you from the lobby.
What time will I arrive in Southampton?
We plan to arrive in Southampton by 1.30pm - 2.00pm on all transfer options. On arrival in Southampton you will be dropped off at your cruise terminal and walk straight to the check in desk. Porters will take care of your luggage, ensuring it is delivered to your cabin. Please make sure you use the luggage label in your cruise pack to facilitate this.
We have a great range of 4* and 5* London City Centre hotels, in a variety of locations available for you on this pre cruise hotel package, all on Bed & Breakfast basis:
3* Hotel Options
3* Thistle City Barbican
The Thistle City Barbican is walking distance of Old Street Tube Station and just a short cab ride to King's Cross, Liverpool Street and Barbican rail and tube stations, meaning access to the whole of London is easy. With every hotel booking, you can enjoy the Otium Health & Leisure Club to work out, swim or simply de-stress in the Jacuzzi, Sauna and Steam room.
4* Hotel Options
4* Copthorne Tara
The award-winning service at Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington is friendly without being fawning, and the experienced team will help make your stay extra special. A stylish and contemporary hotel, perfectly located for the museums on Cromwell Road, Hyde Park and Kensington Palace, tucked away behind Kensington High Street.
4* Clermont Victoria
A 4* charming hotel in London, styled in a Victorian design, the property is located in the heart of London, around 700m from Victoria tube station. Previously called the Grosvenor Victoria, this hotel in London is a great location for those wanting to explore London, within walking distance of Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.
4* Amba Hotel Marble Arch
The hotel is just a stone’s throw from shopping hotspots such as Oxford Street and Mayfair, as well as a host of famous London landmarks including Madame Tussauds and Hamleys. With outstanding modern facilities, as well as luxurious rooms and expert staff, you’ll love your experience at this hotel near Oxford Street. As a 4* hotel, you can expect absolute comfort and impeccable service.
4* Clermont Charing Cross
Just steps from Trafalgar Square, the Clermont Charing Cross is a 4* oasis of calm housed within a beautiful, Grade II listed building. Experience the unique combination of 150 years of British heritage, attentive service and seamless technology, with the personalised service you need to feel at home, indulged and special.
4* Thistle Kensington Gardens
This 4-star luxury hotel is set on the tree-lined Bayswater Road, opposite the stunning Hyde Park and just a short stroll from Kensington Palace and the Princess Diana Memorial Garden. Westminster Borough is a great choice for travellers interested in luxury brand shopping, shopping for clothes and theatre.
4* The Tower Hotel
A 4* hotel near Tower Bridge, The Tower Hotel delivers the ideal hotel experience, combining convenience and comfort, with rooms designed to reflect the individual style and character of the hotel itself. With the Tower of London UNESCO World Heritage Site on your doorstep, exploring the city starts the moment you set foot outside.
4* Hard Rock Hotel
Located on the corner of Oxford Street and Park Lane, just steps away from chic boutiques, world famous department stores, historic West End theatres and the glorious green spaces of Hyde Park. The incredible memorabilia collection at the hotel pays tribute to former residents such as Jimi Hendrix, Diana Ross, and Bob Dylan.
4* The Bailey's Hotel
You'll feel at home in the Victorian grandeur of this redbrick townhouse, just moments away from world-renowned museums and the luxurious neighborhood of Knightsbridge. With a history as beguilling as the five-story and impressive decor, this characterful hotel will make you wish walls could talk...
4* Copthorne at Chelsea Football Club
Situated within the grounds of Chelsea Football Club, the Millennium Hotel at Chelsea FC is just a short walk from the Kings Road, the heart of fashionable and affluent Chelsea. Just a 5-minute walk from Fulham Broadway underground, meaning London's many attractions are just a short journey away.
4* Millennium Gloucester
Millennium Gloucester Hotel London Kensington blends classic and contemporary styles across all rooms, giving travelers great value for money. The hotel is only a three-minute walk from Gloucester Road underground station – and with local gems such as the Natural History Museum and Kensington Palace just around the corner, you’ll have easy access to some of the best sights in London.
4* Millennium Knightsbridge
Nestled on Sloane Street, Millennium Hotel London Knightsbridge is a 4-star cosmopolitan hotel in the heart of the luxury fashion district. Situated next to Hyde Park, this hotel is close to Harrods, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. Offering a contemporary take on modern hospitality, this hotel is a favorite for the style-conscious and culture-lovers alike.
5* Hotel Options
5* Leonardo Royal London Tower Bridge
Located in London's historic core and close to the Tower of London, Borough Market, St.Paul's Cathedral, the Shard and HMS Belfast, the Leonardo Royal Hotel London Tower Bridge is in the perfect location to allow you to fully immerse yourself in the heart of central London. This 4-star hotel is located close to the Tower Bridge, the Gherkin and the lively area of Shoreditch.
5* Millennium at Chelsea Football Club
Situated within the grounds of Chelsea Football Club, the Millennium Hotel at Chelsea FC is just a short walk from the Kings Road, the heart of fashionable and affluent Chelsea. While the hotel is right next to Stamford Bridge on Fulham Road – a dream come true for any Chelsea Football Club fan – the hotel is just a 5-minute walk from Fulham Broadway underground, with London's many attractions a short journey away.
5* The Royal Horseguards
The Royal Horseguards is a 5* hotel in the heart of London edging onto Covent Garden and Theatreland, and overlooking the London Eye. A luxury hotel in a Grade I listed building with bedrooms that offer Victorian elegance and modern features, including free Wi-Fi, Elemis toiletries, and a free minibar.
5* Leonardo Royal Hotel London St Pauls
Nestled beside St Paul’s Cathedral, the Leonardo Royal Hotel London St Paul’s is the ideal place for leisure visitors to the city. The hotel is conveniently located just a five minutes walk from St. Paul’s underground station, perfect to explore London from.