The Göta Canal Cruise


5 nights from £1,570 per person

Sweden Tours

The Gota Canal is one of the most remarkable waterways in the world and one of the communication links between Sweden’s two largest cities. Your path from Gothenburg to Stockholm (or vice versa) takes you on a river, three canals, eight lakes, two seas and 66 locks. The canal itself is 190 km long, most of it dug out by hand. Between 1810 and 1832 some 58 000 soldiers removed 300 000 cubic metres of rock and earth in order to create the three-metre deep and app. 14-metre wide canal. The construction foreman and certainly the one who promoted the project most strongly was Baltzar von Platen.

The culinary journey is as important as the geographic one! The meals follow the same pattern as the cruise – enjoyable and lovely! The menus are tastefully composed and wine list is carefully drawn to suit various menus. Each meal is elegantly set. Everyday the gong rings for two-course lunches and three-course dinners. Between meals there is afternoon coffee or tea with something special on the side, all served on deck if the weather permits.

When you after some light exercise you can also borrow one of the ship’s bicycles to explore and experience the surroundings on your own. Or you can step off at one lock and take a glorious hike along the canal’s towpath while the boat slowly passes up or down.

We have included one night in Stockholm and Gothenburg to start and end your holiday in style! You will spend 4 days onboard cruising through Sweden. Undulating fields and groves of birch trees embrace the waterway as you travel through the shifting landscape. Your journey follows a blue ribbon through the heart of Sweden. Regardless the season you travel, it is a wonderful experience. During shore visits and overnight stops you will have the opportunity to participate in guided tours to some of the foremost sights Sweden can offer.

The Great Swedish Cruise is available from Gothenburg to Stockholm and Stockholm to Gothenburg. There are 3 cabin categories to choose from: C category on main deck, B category on shelter deck and A category on bridge deck. All passengers booking a category A cabin (bridge deck) will be welcomed by champagne, fresh fruit and a bathrobe as they board. Please note that none of the cabins have private facilities. Restrooms and showers are installed on each deck.


Book by 15 Mar and save up to £400 pc

Guide price from: £1570 per person

Save up to: £400 per couple

Valid for travel: selected dates - summer 2014

Package includes: Flights with SAS, 1 night accommodation in Gothenburg, 1 night accommodation in Stockholm, 3 nights Gota Canal Steamer in a category C cabin (upgrades available), meals as stated

Terms & Conditions: Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.








Day 1
Fly to Stockholm with a scheduled airline and check in to Hotel Diplomat for 1 night.

Day 2
09.00 Departure from Stockholm, Skeppsbrokajen 103

09.30 Hammarby lock
The first lock on our journey divides Saltsjon from Lake Malaren.

09.40-12.30 Lake Malaren
0.3 metres above sea level. Sweden’s third largest lake.

10.30 Drottningholm Castle
Drottningholm Castle, the home of the Royal family since 1981, is on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites.

12.30-12.40 Sodertalje lock, 135 metres long, is the largest lock in Scandinavia.

12.40- The Baltic Sea
The archipelago of St Anna and Sodermanland.

16.00-18.00 Trosa
The small town of Trosa dates all the way back to the 14th century. It was then known as a fishermens’ village. Regular steamer traffic from Stockholm and Nykoping began in 1860, bringing large numbers of summer visitors. We are taken on a guided walk around the canals and alleys (app. 2.5 km).

Day 3

00.15 Stegeborg
The ruins of the Stegeborg Castle are beautifully situated on a small island overlooking the bay of Slatbaken. The fort dates from the early Middle Ages and was built to guard the inlet to Soderkoping.

01.00-04.00 Mem
On 26th September 1832, the Gota Canal was inaugurated at Mem amid great pomp and circumstance in the presence of King Karl XIV Johan and his family. We now go through the first of the 58 narrow locks on the Gota Canal.

05.25-05.35 Soderkoping
The idyllic town Soderkoping was founded in the early 1200s and was very important during the Hanseatic period. The town also has a long and very interesting history as a spa. From Soderkoping to the lock Carlsborg Ovre there are eight locks on a stretch of app. 4 km. A nice place to go ashore and walk along the canal.

08.35-09.05 Lake Asplangen
27 metres above sea level.

10.35 Norsholm lock
Here the canal crosses the main railway line between Stockholm and Malmo.

10.35-12.30 Lake Roxen
33 metres above sea level.

12.30 Berg (Carl-Johan)
The Carl-Johan lock staircase is the longest in the canal with seven connected locks.

The convent of Vreta dates from about 1100 and was the first nunnery in Sweden. Its importance was later superseded by the convent founded by Saint Bridget (St. Birgitta) at Vadstena. The old convent church at Vreta is one of Sweden’s most interesting, offering many medieval treasures. Today, it is used as a parish church and is therefore not always open to visitors. The tour guide will take us on a walk (app. 3 km, partly uneven) to see the church and the remains of the convent. As an alternative you can walk along the canal, or take a swim in Lake Roxen.

15.00 Berg (Heda)
The ship has passed all 15 locks in the Berg lock system. It is time to board for departure.

15.15 Ljungsbro, aqueduct
We pass the first of two aqueducts in the canal. The Ljungsbro aqueduct was built in 1970.

17.45 Kungs Norrby, aqueduct
The aqueduct at Kungs Norrby was built in 1993 as part of the national route 36.

18.15-18.25 Borensberg
At Borensberg there is a hand-operated lock. Shortly before the lock we pass a small gazebo leaning out over the canal in a sharp bend known as the "Helmsman’s Horror", and after that we see the well-known Gota Hotel, built in 1908.

18.25-19.25 Lake Boren
73 metres above sea level.

19.25-19.55 Borenshult
Lock staircase of five locks where you might hear the nightingale sing.

21.00 Arr. Motala
It was Baltzar von Platen who drew up the plans for Motala, and today it is called "the Capital of the Gota Canal". In 1822 an engineering works, Motala Werkstad, was established here to serve the Gota Canal and is today considered to be the cradle of Swedish industry. Here you will also find the head office of the Gota Canal Company, responsible for operation and maintenance. We visit the Motor Museum, with its large exhibition of antique cars and motorcycles in authentic surroundings, collection of radios, toys, household appliances and more. You can also walk to see Baltzar von Platen’s grave, about 1 km along the left side of the canal. Overnight stop.

Day 4

05.45 Dep. Motala
We leave Motala and head out into Lake Vattern.

05.45-08.00 Lake Vattern
89 metres above sea level. Sweden’s second largest lake.

08.00-10.00 Karlsborg Fortress
We visit Karlsborg Fortress, initiated by Baltzar von Platen and built 1819-1909. The guided tour is a journey through time and space, full of surprises and special effects.

10.45-10.55 Forsvik
Forsvik has a very interesting industrial history. The lock, built in 1813, is the oldest one in the canal. The impressive iron bridge dates from the same year. In the lock we are sometimes greeted with songs and flowers by the Kindbom family, a religious group.

10.55-11.40 Billstrommen/The Spetsnas Canal
Through two narrow, wood-lined passages and small lakes full of water lilies, we steer out into Lake Viken.

11.40-13.10 Lake Viken
The beautiful Lake Viken (91.8 metres above sea level) serves as a water reservoir for the western section of the Gota Canal.

13.10 Tatorp
At Tatorp there is another hand-operated lock. From here on we will be going downwards!

13.40 The Berg Canal/the Obelisk
An obelisk marks the highest point (91.5 metres above sea level) of the canal. This part of the canal is called the Berg Canal and originally had a sharp bend which was straightened in 1930-33.

15.55 Toreboda
The railway line between Stockholm and Gothenburg crosses the canal here. Toreboda also proudly presents Sweden’s smallest ferry, "Lina", which travels back and forth across the Gota Canal.

16.40-17.00 Hajstorp
A lock system consisting of four locks. In 1822 the western section of the Gota Canal was inaugurated at Hajstorp. Here you can see the old home of the Canal Engineer. If you want to stretch your legs this is a good place, Hajstorp to Godhogen lock is app. 1.5 km or to Norrkvarn is app. 5 km.

18.40 Norrkvarn
All onboard!

20.10-22.15 Sjotorp
At Sjotorp there is a set of eight locks, and also the remains of some old shipyards. We visit the old warehouse, where you can find a shop selling, among other things, clothes and home decor, a cafe and the Sjotorp Canal Museum. In the museum you can see old pictures of Sjotorp, the interiors of several old ships, a large collection of ships’ engines, etc. There is also a map of all the sunken ships in the Lake Vanern. It is also possible to take a walk along the locks.

22.30-05.45 Lake Vanern
44 metres above sea level. Sweden’s largest lake and the third largest lake in Europe, after the Ladoga and Onega lakes in Russia.

Day 5

08.00-09.15 Trollhattan
The Trollhattan Canal Museum is located in a storehouse from 1893. Learn more about the fascinating history of the Trollhatte Canal through the interesting exhibition and film shown here. You can also take a walk through the beautiful lock area.

09.15-10.15 Trollhattan, locks
The impressive lock staircase at Trollhattan consists of four locks, and has a total drop of 32 metres. Of the three parallel lock systems here, only the biggest one (from 1916) is still in use.

11.15-11.30 Lilla Edet
The lock at Lilla Edet, built in 1916, is the last lock on our journey. The original lock was opened in 1607 and was the first lock in Sweden.

14.30 Arr. Gothenburg, Packhuskajen 10
Our cruise ends at Packhuskajen 10, near the spectacular Opera House and the Maritime Centre in Gothenburg. Check in to Elite Plaza for 1 night.

Day 6

Breakfast and flight home.


All times stated are approximate and subject to change.

Gothenburg-Stockholm itinerary in reverse order.

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Hotel, Activity and Local Information

Elite Plaza, Gothenburg

The five star hotel is a palatial building from 1889 where all the original features have been preserved, from the beautiful stucco ceilings to the English mosaic floors. Modern art hangs on the walls, and classical styles blend tastefully with more modern styles throughout the building; a unique environment with the ambition to give our guests the highest level of satisfaction. We are situated on Västra Hamngatan, in the heart of Gothenburg, within walking distance of the Central Station, the Opera House, shopping and restaurants.

Hotel Diplomat

Hotel Diplomat, the exclusive privately-run four-star lifestyle hotel, is superbly situated in the heart of the swedish capital, on Stockholm´s fashionable boulevard. The rooms offer a fantastic view over the city skyline and the picturesque scenery of steamboats returning to Nybroviken. The classic art nouveau building from 1914 has 130 individually designed rooms and suites. Internationally renouwned architect Per Öberg lies behind the recently completed renovation. A design that brilliantly combines the classical features of the Art Nouveau building, with modern influences.


m/s Juno

The M/S Juno is the company’s "grand old lady".Built at the Motala shipyard and launched in 1874, today she is the world’s oldest registered ship with overnight accommodation. The ship has 29 cabins on three decks. The dining room and lounge are found on the middle deck and the upper deck offers a covered aft deck with a perfect view. In 2003 came the latest face-lift, renovating cabins, dining room and lounge. All three boats are furnished in a period style. We work continuously on the careful preservation of the beauty and soul of our ships to keep an authentic onboard atmosphere for our guests. The M/S Juno was listed in 2004 meaning that the National Maritime Museums consider her historically important. We are naturally quite proud of this distinction, as it provides proof that our efforts to preserve the ship have succeeded.

All cabins are fitted with a washbasin with hot and cold water. There are showers on all decks and toilets on all. The cabins are fitted with bunk beds and are about the size of a sleeping compartment on a train. The cabins are all tastefully fitted with brass details and handsome textiles. They are small, but cosy, leaving an impression of how people once travelled.





Call our Reservations Team on 020 7838 5956 or click on the button right to send details of your enquiry online...

Winter 2013/2014 & Summer 2014

Best Served Scandinavia - new brochure

Order your guide to the best winter and summer holidays in Scandinavia, other Nordic countries, the Baltic States and Russia. This new issue also features Canada since you can enjoy a number of similar experiences here.

The brochure includes a wide selection of Northern Lights holidays, Arctic adventures, city breaks, cruises, escorted tours and self-drive itineraries.

  • The Baltic States
  • Canada *new*
  • Cruise
  • Denmark
  • Faroe Islands
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  • Greenland
  • Iceland
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  • Russia
  • Sweden

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