Göta Canal: The Complete Cruise

Enjoy an unforgettable 6-day cruise on the spectacular Göta Canal between Stockholm & Gothenburg. Experience one of the world’s oldest passenger ships, sail on eight lakes, two seas and three canals with 66 locks. The ship docks every night, and meals and excursions are included.

Start the tour in Stockholm instead of Gothenburg?


8 days





Tour Type

Partly guided

Itinerary - Day by day

  • Arrival in Gothenburg according to your own itinerary
  • Recommended attractions
    • The Wheel of Gothenburg
    • Shrimp & Salmon Evening Cruise
    • Paddan – sightseeing by open-top boat
    • New Älvsborgs Fortress
    • Gothenburg City Sightseeing tour
  • Accommodation in Gothenburg

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.

Add extra nights in Gothenburg - From EUR 69 per person per night

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Embarkation possible from 09:00 hrs
  • Cruise departure from Gothenburg at 10:00 hrs
  • Included shore excursions:
    • Visit to Trollhättan Canal Museum
  • 2-course lunch and 3-course dinner onboard
  • Accommodation onboard

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. Read more about the Göta Canal cruise.

Cabin type included during the cruise

  • Included activities:
    • Guided tour to the baroque Läckö Castle
    • Visit to Sjötorp Canal Museum
  • Buffet breakfast, 2-course lunch and 3-course dinner onboard
  • Accommodation onboard

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.

  • Included shore excursions:
    • Guided tour of Vadstena
    • Guided tour to Motala Motor Museum
  • Buffet breakfast, 2-course lunch and 3-course dinner onboard
  • Accommodation onboard

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.

  • Included shore excursions:
    • Guided tour to the convent of Vreta
  • Buffet breakfast, 2-course lunch and 3-course dinner onboard
  • Accommodation onboard

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.

  • Included shore excursions:
    • Visit to the idyllic town of Söderköping
    • Guided tour of Stegeborg Fortress
  • Buffet breakfast, 2-course lunch and 3-course dinner onboard
  • Accommodation onboard

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.

  • Included shore excursions:
    • Guided tour to the Viking community of Birka
  • Buffet breakfast and 2-course lunch onboard
  • Arrival in Stockholm at 15:30 hrs
  • Recommended attractions in Stockholm:
    • Royal Canal Tour
    • Ocean bus sightseeing
    • Dinner cruise on S/S Stockholm
    • Stockholm Archipelago tour
  • Accommodation in Stockholm

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.

Add extra nights in Stockholm - From EUR 95 per person per night

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Departure from Stockholm according to your own itinerary

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, e.g. Scandinavian Capitals, Fjord Norway & Stockholm or Scandinavian Capitals & Fjords.

Tour category

Comfort Hotel Göteborg


Accommodation at good tourist class hotels equal to 3 to 3+ stars according to Scandinavian standard.

Inside cabin included during overnight cruises.

See Silver accommodation

Elite Plaza Hotel, Gothenburg


Accommodation at 4 star hotels or at unique properties, like historic hotels or manor houses, selected for their atmosphere.

Outside (seaside) cabin included during overnight cruises.

See Gold accommodation

Services included: 

  • 2 nights hotel accommodation in a standard room with private shower/WC, including breakfast.
  • 5 nights (6 days) onboard Göta Canal from Gothenburg to Stockholm or reverse
  • Guide onboard the cruise (guiding in English, German and Swedish)
  • Accommodation in outside cabin on lower deck (category C, twin beds) or on midlle deck (category B, bunk beds). All cabins with shared facilities
  • Full board during the cruise:
  • 5 x Scandinavian breakfast buffet
  • 6 x two-course lunches
  • 5 x three-course dinners
  • 9 stops of varying duration including entrance fees:
  • Gothenburg to Stockholm:
    • Trollhättan Canal Museum
    • Läckö Castle
    • Canal Museum in Sjötorp
    • Sightseeing train Vadstena
    • Motala Motor Museum
    • The Convent of Vreta
    • The town of Söderköping
    • Stegeborg Fortress
    • The Viking Community of Birka
  • Stockholm to Gothenburg:
    • The town of Trosa
    • Stegeborg Fortress
    • The town of Söderköping
    • The Convent of Vreta
    • Motala Motor Museum
    • Sightseeing train Vadstena
    • Canal Museum in Sjötorp
    • Läckö Castle
    • Trollhättan Canal Museum
  • Electronic travel documentation, including a detailed travel itinerary and travel vouchers.
  • Additional services included for Tour Category GOLD only:
  • Category GOLD hotels (accommodation in standard rooms)

Anniversary discount

Göta Canal celebrates their 150th anniversary this year, and offers a 15% discount for new bookings made until including May 2, 2019.

The discount is valid for the following departures:
From Stockholm: May 22, June 4, June 29, August 6, August 19, August 31
From Gothenburg: May 16, May 2

The discount will be withdrawn in our back office system and shown on your tour confirmation; it does not show during the booking process. The discount can not be combined with other discounts and is not valid for extra nights and experiences.

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