The perfect way to start your cruise holiday with a short break in England's capital city, London. Our most popular 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.
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
Shared cruise transfer London to Southampton. Optional upgrade to include a visit to Stonehenge
10% discount on any International Friends Small & Friendly day trip
Day 1 - Arrival Transfer
On arrival into London Heathrow Airport, you will be met by your 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 St.Paul's Cathedral, before following the Thames to Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Big Ben. A stop is included at the Queen's official London residence, Buckingham Palace. Enjoy the pomp and ceremony of the changing of the Royal Guards (subject to operating dates)*.
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.
*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.
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. If you would like to add a travel supplement and include some sightseeing on the way, we have two options;
London to Southampton via Stonehenge; your upgraded transfer will include a 90 - 120 minute visit to Stonehenge (£19 extra per person). 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; alternatively, you can upgrade to include a 90 - 120 minute stop at Windsor Castle (£24 extra per person). 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.
- Where will I meet my driver? Your driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall in the airport. All flights are monitored by our staff and the driver will adjust his/her arrival time to your actual flight landing time. You do not have to worry if your flight is delayed en route. After you have collected your luggage you will walk through into the arrivals hall where your driver will be holding an International Friends sign with your name on.
Our drivers plan to enter the arrivals hall 30 minutes after your actual landing time. If you would like to select a later meeting time please let us know in the ‘Additional Comments’ box during the booking process. Our driver will wait for you for 60 minutes after entering the arrivals hall (90 minutes after you land). After this additional waiting charges may be applied if you have not contacted us. On your e-ticket you will find an emergency contact number, if you are delayed in immigration or luggage collection please phone this number.
Your driver will then walk you to the vehicle and transfer you to your hotel. Approximate journey times are London Heathrow to London City centre 45-60 minutes, from London Gatwick 75-90 minutes and from London City 25-40 minutes.
- What happens if we need to delay our pick up due to 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 on your E-Ticket. 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. If you do not contact in this period the driver will be forced to leave. After this we will not be able to guarantee your transfer. We recommend travel insurance to protect you from unforeseen delays or other factors beyond your control.
- 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.
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?
This depends on the hotel that you have booked as part of your package.
Amba Hotel Grosvenor:
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.
For all other hotels:
A transfer will be arranged for you. Your driver will collect you from the hotel lobby between 06:45am and 07:00am, and take you to the meeting point.
- How will I get from the hotel to Southampton cruise terminal? You will be collected by our drivers 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 are between 09:45am-10:45am and your driver. Your exact pick up time will depend on the hotel you have selected. All pick up times will be detailed on the e-ticket you receive after booking.
- Will there be enough time to visit Stonehenge? If you select the 'Upgrade' option with Stonehenge your collection from the hotel will be between 07:00am-08:00am. This is an executive coach transfer service which includes entry to Stonehenge centre. Your exact pick up time will depend on the hotel you have selected. All pick up times will be detailed on the e-ticket you receive after booking.
- 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 13.30-14:00 on both transfer options (direct and via Stonehenge). 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* Amba Hotel Grosvenor
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* Amba Hotel Charing Cross
Just steps from Trafalgar Square, the Amba Hotel 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.