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Cutting it close from Heathrow to Harwich

San Antonio, Texas
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Cutting it close from Heathrow to Harwich

We arrive at Heathrow at 12:05 p.m., and need to be at the port in Harwich prior to a 5 p.m. Celebrity Cruise sail time. If we allow an hour to get through customs, and another 30 minutes by tube to get to Liverpool St., do you think that there will be a train to Harwich that will get us there on time, or is there a safer option? We really need to get there by 4 p.m.

Norwich, United...
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11. Re: Cutting it close from Heathrow to Harwich

Don't cut it that fine!

I was on a Liverpool St - Norwich train (the one you'd need but you change en route) with a few people who had missed their boat a few months ago, you don't want to be ringing around for a room last minute like them!

UK
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12. Re: Cutting it close from Heathrow to Harwich

I think your only chance of making it is by booking a private car (and hope there aren't any snarl-ups on the M25). Google reckons it's two hours, which is probably somewhat over-optimistic... but if you allow an hour for Immigration and baggage reclaim then you still have nearly an extra hour to play with.

Public transport - NO WAY.

Kent, UK
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13. Re: Cutting it close from Heathrow to Harwich

>>That might help if you are arriving at terminal 5 and take the Hammersmith and City line to Liverpool Street Station from Paddington. (but not the Circle line which can have you changing at Edgeware and can, sometimes, involve changing platforms via stairs up and over the track)<

The Circle Line trains that leave from the H&C line platforms at Paddington do not terminate at Edgware Road, which is what I think you meant. They don't go anywhere near Edgware.

Edited: 04 April 2014, 09:51
UK
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14. Re: Cutting it close from Heathrow to Harwich

I think your only chance of making it is by booking a private car (and hope there aren't any snarl-ups on the M25).

========

Or a delayed arrival, or rescheduled later arrival, or cancelled flight, or long queues at immigration, or issues with baggage.

But I agree, car is best. ("best" in the same way that its best when jumping off a 20ft wall, to roll when you hit the ground, but taking the steps is strongly advised instead)

Edited: 04 April 2014, 10:23
Wales, United...
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for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
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15. Re: Cutting it close from Heathrow to Harwich

OP, are you sure that you will be able to board as late as 4pm?

On our Celebrity cruise last year we were instructed that we had to be on board 90 minutes prior to sialing time. This was to allow the safety drills to take place 45 minutes before departure. We departed from Southampton, so Harwich may be different.

In any case, as the others have pointed out, allowing less than four hours between the scheduled touch down of the aircraft and the latest boarding time (if it is 4pm) is incredibly risky. Even when taking the train from home to Southampton, I always prefer to allow plenty of room for things to go wrong, and I prefer to aim to be at the port itself by 11am at the latest unless I am overnighting nearby.

I really do recommend that you change your plans. Many things can go wrong, and it needs only a delayed take off, queues at immigration, bad traffic, a breakdown or any number of things to happen and you will be well and truly scuppered.

San Antonio, Texas
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16. Re: Cutting it close from Heathrow to Harwich

Well, after reading all of your posts, it appears I truly am an idiot. I will see what I can do. We have a graduation to attend on the day before the cruise leaves, which is why we were taking the flight we booked. Will we be okay if we book a private car service straight from the airport to Harwich?

UK
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17. Re: Cutting it close from Heathrow to Harwich

"Will we be okay if we book a private car service straight from the airport to Harwich?"

IF your flight is on time... IF there are no other arrival delays (such as having to report missing baggage)... IF there are no traffic jams along the way... then you should make it. But you should have a solid "Plan B", such as knowing exactly how to get to the next port of call so that you can board there.

London
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18. Re: Cutting it close from Heathrow to Harwich

Will we be okay if we book a private car service straight from the airport to Harwich?

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Might be/might not. The problem is if your flight is changed even an hour later(not unusual and not a lot of time with long haul flights) you've got a problem whichever way you transfer, and the trouble with a car transfer is as everybody's saying a notoriously busy and jam-prone road. But if you can't change your flights it may be your best bet as at least it's door to door and you won't be sweating it out trying to figure out where to go, with lots of luggage and tons of people milling about.

I would ask your cruise company for transfer co. recommendations based on people who know EXACTLY where to go, or ask on a forum like cruisecritic.com for suggestions.

Dunfermline, United...
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19. Re: Cutting it close from Heathrow to Harwich

You should book a car from Heathrow to Harwich, but even so, you are unlikely to make it.

The route from Heathrow will take you around the M25 which isn't known as Europe's largest car park for nothing. Its a good 3 hour drive without hold-ups and you still need to pray that you land on time

I wish you luck, you're going to need it!

East Sussex, United...
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20. Re: Cutting it close from Heathrow to Harwich

But you should have a solid "Plan B", such as knowing exactly how to get to the next port of call so that you can board there.

====================

Absolutely this, hopefully the OP is going on a cruise around the British Isles which may this back up plan slightly easier. I hope it works for them.