Göta Canal: The Complete Cruise

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.

Start the tour in Gothenburg instead of Stockholm?


8 days





Tour Type

Partly guided

Itinerary - Day by day

  • Arrival in Stockholm according to your own itinerary
  • Recommended activities in Stockholm:
    • Royal Canal Tour
    • Ocean bus sightseeing
    • Dinner cruise on S/S Stockholm
    • Stockholm Archipelago tour
  • Accommodation in Stockholm

Arrival in Stockholm according to your own itinerary. The capital of Sweden spreads across 14 islands where Lake Mälaren flows out into the Baltic Sea and the spectacular archipelago – a landscape of more than 24,000 islands. The city centre itself is surrounded by vast open water and green parks, forests and walking areas, filled with historical sights and attractions. With its 750 year history and rich cultural life, Stockholm offers many well known places of interest such as the Royal Palace, Stockholm Cathedral, the City hall and Gamla Stan (Old Town) - one of the best preserved medieval city centers in the world. Accommodation in Stockholm.

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

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Embarkation possible from 09:30 hrs
  • Cruise departure from Stockholm at 10:00 hrs
  • Included shore excursions:
    • Visit to the small town of Trosa
  • 2-course lunch and 3-course dinner onboard
  • Accommodation onboard

Breakfast at the hotel. The cruise departs in the morning from Skeppsbron quay in the Old Town of Stockholm. The guide welcomes you aboard and shows you 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. During the cruise between Stockholm and Gothenburg the first lock on the cruise is Hammarby lock. From here on the ship sails through the archipelago on Lake Mälaren. Pass Drottningholm Castle, the home of the Royal family since 1981, and on UNESCO’S list of World Heritage sites. When reaching Södertälje you will find the largest lock in Scandinavia; 135 meters long. Continue through the archipelago of St Anna and Södermanland before arriving to Trosa; a small town that dates back to the 14th century. In Trosa you will be taken on a walk along the canals and alleys. The ship stops overnight in Sävsundet. Read more about the Göta Canal cruise.

Cabin type included during the cruise

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

Early morning departure from Sävsundet. After breakfast you will arrive to Stegeborg Fortress and taken on a guided tour. The fort is situated on a small island overlooking the bay of Slätbaken. It dates back to the early middle Ages and was built to guard the inlet to Söderköping. At Mem the ship goes through the first of the 58 narrow locks on 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. Later on you will visit the idyllic town of Söderköping, founded in the early 1200s and very important during the Hanseatic period. Continue to Lake Asplången and Lake Roxen before arriving to Berg where you will find the Carl-Johan lock staircase. This is the longest in the canal with seven connected locks that lifts or lowers boats 18.8 meters, a fascinating spectacle that often attracts a large audience. The ship stops overnight in Berg. 

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

Start the morning with a guided tour to the convent of Vreta, the first nunnery in Sweden dating from around 1100. The old convent church at Vreta is one of Sweden’s most interesting, offering many medieval treasures. You can also go for a swim in Lake Roxen or stand by the locks watching the ship going through the last of the 15 locks at Berg. After departure from Berg you will pass two aqueducts before arriving to a hand-operated lock at Borensberg. In the evening the ship berths in Motala where you will visit Motala Motor Museum. Here you can 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 of Vadstena
  • Buffet breakfast, 2-course lunch and 3-course dinner onboard
  • Accommodation onboard

Leaving Motala the ship heads out onto Lake Vättern, the second largest lake in Sweden. 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 prominent being the castle and the abbey. When reaching Forsvik, you will see the oldest lock in the canal which was built in 1813. Then head out onto Lake Viken which serves a water reservoir for the western section of Göta Canal. When reaching the Berg Canal you will see an obelisk marking the highest point of the canal; 91, 5 meters above sea level. At Hajstorp you pass a lock system consisting of four locks. Here, in 1822, the western section of Göta Canal was inaugurated by King Karl XIV Johan. The ship stops overnight in Hajstorp.

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

Take the opportunity to enjoy an early morning walk from Hajstorp to Godhögen (app. 1 km). At Sjötorp you will pass a set of eight locks and you can also find the remains of some old shipyards here. 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. After crossing Lake Vänern, the largest lake in Sweden, you will visit the medieval Läckö Castle where a guide will show you around. The castle was built in 1298 as a bishop’s residence. The ship stops overnight in Vänersborg.

  • Included activities:
    • Visit to Trollhättan Canal Museum
  • Buffet breakfast and 2-course lunch onboard
  • Arrival in Gothenburg at 15:30 hrs
  • 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

Morning visit to Trollhättan Canal Museum where you can learn more about the fascinating history of the Trollhätte Canal. You will then sail through the impressive lock staircase at Trollhättan. This staircase consists of four locks, and has a total drop of 32 meters. Of the three parallel lock systems here, only the biggest one (from 1916) is still in use. The lock at Lilla Edet, built in 1916, is the last lock on your journey. The original lock was opened in 1607 and was the first lock in Sweden. The cruise ends at Packhuskajen, near the Opera House and the Maritime Centre in Gothenburg at approximately 15:30 hrs. 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 also recommend an evening dinner cruise in the archipelago (please see add-ons). Accommodation in Gothenburg.

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

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

Breakfast at the hotel. Departure from Gothenburg according to your own itinerary. Or perhaps you would like to add another night in Gothenburg, giving you the possibility to see more of Sweden's second largest city? By adding the necessary optional train rides you can easily combine the tour with a visit to Copenhagen or one of our fjord tours that starts in Oslo.

Tour category

Scandic Norra Bantorget Hotel


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 Hotel Adlon


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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