Enjoy an unforgettable 6-day cruise on the most spectacular waterway through the heartland of Sweden. Onboard one of the world’s oldest passenger ships you will experience eight lakes, two seas and three canals with 66 locks. Meals and excursions are included on the cruise. The ship docks every night. Set departure dates.
Arrival in Gothenburg according to you own itinerary. Visit Gothenburg’s oldest suburb Haga, now a trendy neighborhood in the centre of the town. Pedestrian paved streets and well-preserved brick and wood houses give this neighborhood an old-fashioned touch. We recommend a visit to the Wheel of Gothenburg with a 360° view, the Museum of World Culture and the sightseeing tours made by the open-top bus or boat. Accommodation in Gothenburg.
Breakfast at the hotel. The cruise departs in the morning from Packhuskajen in central Gothenburg. You are welcomed aboard by the guide and shown to your cabin. Turn off your mobile phone, leave the stress of everyday life behind, and give yourself a few days of total relaxation with good food and interesting encounters. All meals are included and served at set times in the dining room. The first lock on your journey is at Lilla Edet on the Trollhätte Canal; a canal that connects Göta River with Lake Vänern. The Göta Canal itself is 190 km long, of which 87,3 km is hand-dug. Together with Trollhätte Canal and Göta River, the Göta Canal forms a 390 km long waterway across Sweden. The original lock at Lilla Edet was opened in 1607 and was the first lock in Sweden. You will later sail through the remarkable lock staircase at Trollhättan. This staircase consists of four locks, and has a total drop of 32 meters. At a visit to Trollhättan Canal Museum you will learn more about the history of the Trollhätte Canal. The ship stops overnight in Vänersborg.
Early morning departure from Vänersborg. After breakfast you will visit the medieval Läckö Castle where a local guide shows you around. The castle was built in 1298 as a bishop’s residence. The ship then continues to Sjötorp where it enters the first of the 58 narrow locks on the Göta Canal. The ship slowly ascends the locks and you now have the chance to stroll alongside. We visit the old warehouse, where you can find a shop selling, among other things, clothes and home decor, a cafe and the Sjötorp Canal Museum. The ship stops overnight in Hajstorp where a music group will entertain after dinner.
At the Berg Canal an obelisk marks the highest point of the canal; 91.5 meters above sea level. Soon after, the ship heads out onto the beautiful Lake Viken which serves as a water reservoir for the western section of Göta Canal. Continuing to the Spetsnäs Canal, the ship steers through two narrow, wood-lined passages and small lakes full of beautiful water lilies. Today local guides will meet you in Vadstena, an idyllic town with cobbled streets and low wooden buildings that evolved around the 14th century convent of the Saint Bridget (Birgitta), becoming a spiritual, cultural and commercial centre. Vadstena has a rich mediaeval history and practically every building has its own story to tell, the most famous being the castle and the abbey. In the evening the ship berths in Motala where you will visit Motala Motor Museum. Here you will find a large exhibition of antique cars and motorcycles in authentic surroundings. It was Baltzar von Platen, the founder of the Göta Canal, who drew up the plans for Motala, and today it is called "the Capital of the Göta Canal". The ship stops overnight in Motala.
Start the day with a refreshing morning walk from Motala to Borenshult, approximately 4 km, or sit back and enjoy the views from bridge deck. After Borenshult the ship heads out onto Lake Boren. When arriving to Borensberg you pass another hand-operated lock. In the afternoon the ship arrives to the famous locks of Berg. Here, the Carl-Johan lock staircase is the longest in the canal with its seven connected locks, and lifts or lowers boats 18.8 meters, a fascinating spectacle that often attracts a large audience. Together with the guide, you have the opportunity to visit the convent of Vreta, the first nunnery in Sweden that dates from about 1100. The ship then continues to Lake Roxen and Lake Asplången before arriving in the evening to the tranquil lock Klämman, a water regulating lock. The ship stops overnight in Klämman.
In the morning the ship slowly descends the first out of eight locks taking you down to the idyllic town of Söderköping. Here you can walk between the locks or even walk the 4 km to Söderköping where the ship will make a shorter stop. Passing through the last narrow lock at Mem you leave the Göta Canal. In 1832, the Göta Canal was inaugurated at Mem amid great pomp and circumstance in the presence of King Karl XIV Johan and his family. After Mem the boat continues over the Baltic Sea for a short bit and then weaves through the archipelago. At arrival to Stegeborg Castle a local guide will meet you for a guided tour. The fort dates from the early middle Ages and was built to guard the inlet to Söderköping. The ship stops overnight in Sävsundet.
Today you will reach Södertälje lock, which is 135 meters long and the largest lock in Scandinavia. The cruise then continues onto Lake Mälaren where the ship heads for the island of Björkö. Here you will visit the Viking community of Birka which is often regarded as Sweden’s first town. The archaeologists on the island will show you around and you can also visit the museum. Sailing across Lake Mälaren you pass Drottningholm Castle, home of the Royal family since 1981, and on the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites. Hammarby lock is the final lock on the journey and delivers you from Lake Mälaren into Lake Saltsjön. The cruise ends at Skeppsbrokajen, in the old town of Stockholm at approximately 15:30 hrs. The capital of Sweden is built on 14 islands and you are never far from the water. With its 750 year history and rich cultural life, it offers many well known sights such as the Royal Palace, Stockholm Cathedral, the City hall, Gamla Stan (Old Town) - Stockholm's oldest attraction and one of the best preserved medieval city centers in the world, and Vasa Museum - the most visited museum in Scandinavia Accommodation in Stockholm.
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure from Stockholm according to your own itinerary. We also recommend combining the Göta Canal cruise with one of our independent rail tours, i.e. Scandinavian Capitals, Fjord Norway & Stockholm or Scandinavian Capitals & Fjords.