How to Travel from New York to London by Plane or Ship

London skyline

Michela Ravasio

London’s double-decker buses, royal palaces, afternoon tea, and top-notch theater are 3,459 miles away from New York City. To get from New York City to London, you have to cross the Atlantic Ocean, making options limited to flying or taking a ship. Obviously, it is a long distance so flying will certainly take the least amount of time (about seven hours of flight time). It’s a popular route for business and leisure travelers alike so many airlines fly the route and there are multiple flights a day. On the other hand, a transatlantic cruise takes about a week so if you want to make a trip out of the journey, are are looking for some nostalgia, that might be the way to go.

 TripSavvy / Julie Bang
Time Cost Best For
Flight   7 hours From $150  Most people looking to maximize time and cost
 Ship  Seven days, six nights From $1,200  Those looking to make a vacation out of the journey

What Is the Cheapest Way to Get from New York to London?

Because the route between New York and London is a popular one, flying is the cheapest way to get between the two cities and sometimes you can find good deals—especially on low-cost carriers.

All of the major U.S. carriers, including Delta, United, and American Airlines, fly the route nonstop, as does British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, with one-way fares starting around $450. Budget carrier Norwegian Air also services the route, with one-way fares as low as $160 one way but pay attention to extra fees for things like baggage and food. Prices are usually highest during summer and holidays. You can also fly with a stopover on other European airlines, and it might be cheaper to do so, but will certainly add time to your journey.

What Is the Fastest Way to Get From New York to London?

Flying to and from London is the fastest and most convenient way to travel. The flight takes around seven hours, but that does not include time spent getting to and from the airport, checking bags, or clearing security.

There are about 30 nonstop flights a day from New York to London from John F. Kennedy International Airportand Newark International Airport. There are no direct flights to London from LaGuardia International Airport. From New York, you can fly into two of London's airports: London Heathrow Airport, which is 15 miles from the city center, and London Gatwick Airport, which is 28 miles from the city center. From either airport, you can take a bus, train, or taxi into the city.

How Can I Get to London Without Flying?

 If you’re trying to get to London quickly, it doesn’t make much sense to take a boat, but if you’re looking to make a vacation out of the journey and you enjoy cruising, then taking a ship might be right for you. Not to mention the voyage offers a type of romanticism and a sense of nostalgia planes no longer have in this day and age. And, there’s no issue with jet lag. But of course, the trip takes about a week, and it’s important to note that boats can’t land in London because it’s landlocked, so you’ll need to get there from either Southampton or Dover, where ships dock. Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 has been making the Atlantic crossing from Brooklyn to Southampton since 1847, and it does so about once a month during high season. It takes seven days and six nights without stops, and prices start at $1,200.

If you’re looking to make stops along the way, Norwegian Cruise Line has a 15-day somewhat roundabout voyage with stops in Bermuda, Ponta Delgada, the Azores; Lisbon, Portugal; Vigo, Spain; Portland, England; Brussels, Belgium; and Le Havre, France before arriving in Southampton. Cabins start at $1,196. Princess also offers a longer journey—a 16-day cruise on the Island Princess with stops in Halifax, Canada; Qaqortoq and Nanortalik, Greenland; Akureyri and Seydisfjordur, Iceland; Edinburgh, Scotland; and Newcastle, England before arriving in Southampton (from $3,144). For something more luxurious, book a 14-day Silversea voyage from New York to Southampton (from $5,940), with stops in Boston and Cape Cod; Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax, Sydney, and St. John, Canada; Cork, Ireland; and Falmouth, England. However, most of these longer cruises only sail once or twice a year.

When Is the Best Time to Travel to London?

Being a large cosmopolitan city with generally mild weather year-round, there's truly no bad time to visit London. However, visitors will find the best blend of affordable prices, great weather, and a packed event calendar in the late spring (before schools let out) and the fall months from September through November.

Do I Need a Visa Travel to London?

You do no need a visa to visit London from New York, but you do need a valid passport.

What Time Is it in London?

London is usually five hours ahead of New York, except during a brief period when the U.S. starts Daylight Savings Time before the United Kingdom. During that time in March, London is four hours ahead of New York. Factor this time change into your flight and ship arrival times and expect some jet lag when arriving by plane.

While New York uses the U.S. dollar, London’s currency is the pound sterling, which is used throughout the United Kingdom. Check the exchange rate before you go.

Can I Use Public Transportation to Travel From the Airport?

London's Heathrow Airport is linked to the city both through the London Underground system (fondly known as "the tube") and the Heathrow Express, the fastest link between Heathrow and central London. The latter runs non-stop to Paddington Station every 15 minutes and the trip itself takes 15 minutes.

What Is There to Do in London?

London is full of attractions and things to do. Highlights include Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, London Eye, Westminster Abbey, and Tower Bridge. Walking along the Thames River is a wonderful way to see the city, or you can go on a sightseeing cruise or boat ride on the river. There are many bridges to cross from one side of the River to the other and both sides are worth exploring. London also has several world-class museums including the British Museum, the Tate Modern, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. There are also many historic sites, like the Globe Theater, Trafalgar Square, and many palaces. Take a double decker bus, stroll through Hyde Park, sip afternoon tea, visit Borough Market, and catch a show in the West End. And don’t forget to sample some of the city’s incredible food, drinks, and nightlife.