About Göta Canal cruises

The Göta Canal is one of the most fascinating canals in the world and one of the communication links between Stockholm and Gothenburg. The cruise through the heart of Sweden takes 4-6 days where you will make several stops along the way. Travelling onboard one of the historical ships is a unique experience and feels like journeying into another world.

Frequently asked questions:

When and why was the Göta Canal built?

The Göta Canal itself is 190 km long and most of it is dug out by hand. It runs from Sjötorp in the west to Mem in the east. Between 1810 and 1832 as many as 58 000 soldiers helped removing 300 000 cubic meters of rock and earth in order to create the three meter deep and approximately 14 meter wide canal. It was Baltzar von Platen who was the man behind Göta Canal, a naval officer and politician who believed it would boost trade and improve Sweden’s defense system.

What will I experience along the way?

On the journey you will sail through archipelagos with thousands of small islands, one river, eight lakes, two seas and three canals with 66 locks, including the unique experience of having ascended 91 meters via the ingenious locks before returning to sea level.

Is this a group tour? Is there a guide on-board?

The cruise itself resembles a group tour since you will be travelling with the same people for the whole tour (max 50 guests per ship), and you will be accompanied by a guide. The guided speaks at least three languages (Swedish, English and German) and is available throughout the cruise. Daily information meetings are held during which the tour guide tells you what is going to happen during the day, describes the history of the canal and the local sites, and also provides practical information. He/she will also lead some of the shore excursions. 

All services before and after the tour are on your own.

Will I meet a representative from Authentic Scandinavia during my trip?

Since we offer tours throughout the Nordic countries, the Baltis and Russia we do not have staff available to meet you in person during your travels with us. Please rest assured however that we are always available through phone and email during our office hours and through our emergency phone outside our office hours should you require any assistance during your travels.  

What are the ships like?

The three ships in use were built between 1874 and 1931, and are listed, meaning that the National Maritime Museums consider them historically important. The ships are furnished in a period style and much has been done to preserve the right atmosphere on board. The dining room and lounge are found on the middle deck; the upper deck offers a covered aft deck with a perfect view. In the dining room Swedish delicacies are served each day. The tables are made up with white table linen and crystal. There is also a small library and shop on-board.

The aim is to create a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere; there is neither radio nor TV on board any of the ships. It is also recommend that you don’t use your mobile phone on board – there are plenty of opportunities for that when the ship lands. On bridge deck you will find comfortable chairs for relaxing and warm blankets to huddle up in on chilly evenings. Here you will also find a small bar.

The atmosphere on-board is very personal; the ship only takes up to 50 guests per trip allowing the guests to get to know one another. There is up to 12 staff, including one guide, on each cruise providing first-class service to all guests.

M/S Wilhelm Tham: The M/S Wilhelm Tham is the company’s second oldest ship and sails on most 4-day cruises. Like her sister Juno, she was built at the Motala shipyard and was launched in 1912. There are 25 cabins on three decks providing space for around 50 passengers. The M/S Wilhelm Tham has bunk beds for two in all cabins with a few exceptions. On the main deck (lower deck), there are two “honeymoon cabins” each with a 120-cm wide, queen-size bed, and there is also a 4-bed cabin.

M/S Juno: Built at the Motala shipyard and launched in 1874, today she is the world’s oldest registered ship with overnight accommodation. M/S Juno has 29 cabins on three decks and sails on most 6-day cruises. All cabins are tastefully fitted with brass details and attractive textiles. They are small and cosy, giving an impression of how people once travelled. The M/S Juno has bunk beds in all cabins with one exception, a “honeymoon cabin” on the main deck with a 120 cm wide, queen-size bed.

M/S Diana: The M/S Diana is the youngest of the company’s ships, built at the Finnboda shipyard outside Stockholm and launched in 1931. She had been ordered in anticipation of a wave of Swedish-American guests during the Tercentenary Celebration and was designed to travel the Göta Canal between Gothenburg and Stockholm. There are 28 cabins on three decks. The M/S Diana has bunk beds in the cabins except for the cabins on main deck, which are fitted with twin beds.

What are the cabins like?

The cabins are small and charming. With the exception of a few cabins, they are fitted with bunk beds and are about the size of a sleeping compartment on a train. Medium-sized luggage fits under the berth. Large suitcases can be stored in a luggage room on board.

As the beds vary in length, please tell us in advance if you are above average height.

All cabins have a washbasin with hot and cold water. There are showers on all decks (except for shelter deck on M/S Diana), and toilets on all. All cabins have 220V outlets.

What is included in the tour price?

Included during the cruise is your own cabin, full-board (breakfast, lunch and dinner, excl. drinks), various excursions along the way and a guide on-board. An overview of the services included is specified for each tour (at the bottom of the tour page).

Mealtime drinks, purchases from the souvenir shop and bar expenses are put on your cabin number. The bill is cleared on the last day either in cash (SEK) or using the most common credit cards (VISA, American Express, EuroCard, Master Card and Diners Club).

Is airport and hotel transfer included?

Airport and hotel transfer is normally not included in the tour price. The exception is when it is impossible or complicated to get there by public transport. Please refer to the services included for each tour.

How will I find the way?

We will provide you with a detailed travel itinerary, including information on how to get from the airport to your hotel, from your hotel to the train station, ferry terminal etc. We also provide exact details on how to change from one transport to the other during your trip (from train to boat to bus etc.).

 

Can I add additional hotel nights?

Extra nights can be added when submitting the tour reservation through our website. Please note that the Göta Canal tours depart on fixed dates so that extra nights can only be added before the given start date or at the end.

Extra nights before the start of the tour or after the end of the tour can also be added until the due date of the final payment by sending an e-mail to [email protected]

Please note that there will be an amendment fee of EUR 50,- for adding extra nights and/or overnight experiences in the middle of the tour once the tour is confirmed. The amendment fee also applies if adding an extra night after you have received the travel documents. 

Can I exclude hotel nights?

Should you wish to exclude any hotel overnights included in the tour we ask you kindly to specify this in the remarks field when submitting the reservation through our website.

It is not possible to take out majority of the overnights included in the tour price. For tours including only 2 or 3 nights, no nights can be removed.

To get the amended tour price please contact us through the request form during the online booking process or by sending an email to [email protected]

Can I book my flight tickets before I receive my tour confirmation?

We highly recommend not to book your flight tickets before you have received the tour confirmation from us. All of our tours are subject to availability, meaning we cannot guarantee availability until we have sent out the tour confirmation. We try our best to send the tour confirmation within 24-48 hours (Monday-Friday). 

What is the food like on board? Can they cater for special needs?

Full-board is included during the cruise. The kitchen staff is superb and serves a fixed menu for lunch and dinner; two-course lunches and three-course dinners. A breakfast buffet is served every morning, except on the first day of the cruise.

If you should need any special food on board (e.g. vegetarian, diabetic or allergic), please notify us at least four weeks in advance so we can still give you the best culinary experience.

What clothing do I need to bring?

Daytime wear should be comfortable since much of the time is spent outdoors. To be on the safe side, bring something warm and a windproof jacket, in addition to your summer clothing. We recommend walking shoes for the excursions. Tradition has it that the guests change to something a bit more elegant for dinner, but going as far as a dark suit is not essential - smart casual is sufficient.

What are the excursions like?

Most of the guided excursions are on foot and require that you can manage a normal walking pace.

Are there restrictions for physically disadvantaged travellers?

The ships are charming but old, which means that thresholds are high and stairways steep. In addition, most shore excursions are on foot. For this reason, if you are physically disadvantaged, you should indicate this when booking and bring along a personal companion.

Is smoking allowed on board?

Smoking is only allowed in designated areas outside.

Can I get a senior discount on your tours?

We can unfortunately not offer any senior discount on the prices published on our website as our contracted rates with our suppliers can not be combined with any discounts.

Is there a child discount?

There is no child discount. Children are allowed from 7 years of age and must sleep in their own berth. There are few (younger) children on these kind of tours though.

How and when will I receive my travel documents and tickets?

All travel documents will be sent by e-mail approximately one month before travel and after final payment is completed.

Included in the travel documents are a detailed travel itinerary, an address list, travel vouchers and/or e-tickets. You will receive a travel voucher and/or e-ticket for each service included in the package tour. These vouchers are your proof of payment and must be presented during your trip. The travel vouchers for the train rides in Norway must be exchanged for the train tickets at the train station before boarding the train. You will receive e-tickets for the train rides in Sweden.