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Grand Swedish Cruise

Historic Gota Canal cruise from Stockholm to Gothenburg or vv
MS Diana, Sweden © Gota Kanal

Constructed in the early 19th century, the historic and charming Gota Canal links Stockholm and Gothenburg. Cruise on the elegant small vessel M/S Diana* - the boat travels by day, so that each night is spent peacefully moored. Enjoy the passing scenery of lakes, birch forests and fields as you travel in old fashioned yet comfortable style. Travel from Stockholm to Gothenburg or v.v. The Canal was built in 1823 and was one of the biggest construction projects ever in Sweden. Measuring 190 km in length, with 58 locks, the canal stretches from Sjötorp on Lake Vänern to Mem on the Baltic. Of that distance, 87km is man-made. Experience this unique canal on this leisurely cruise.


Day 1 Stockholm – Stegeborg

Morning departure from Stockholm and travel via Hammarby Lock from Lake Malaren, passing Drottningholm Castle, before entering Sodertalje Lock, the largest in Sweden, and on to the Baltic Sea and the archipelago of Sodermanland to the small town of Trosa. Enjoy a walk around the canals and alleys of this delightful 14th century town. Head towards Stegeborg where we moor for the night.

Day 2 Stegeborg – Berg

The ruins of Stegeborg Fortress are beautifully situated on an island overlooking Slätbaken Bay. Visit the Fortress on a guided tour. Enter the Göta Canal through the first of 58 narrow locks. Visit the idyllic Hanseatic town of Söderköping, with free time to explore. From Söderköping to Carlsborg Övre, there are eight locks on a stretch of approximately 4km, where you can stretch your legs and watch as the ship navigates these locks. Travel through Lake Asplången and Norsham Lock where the canal crosses the main railway line from Stockholm – Malmö. Continue through Lake Roxen and arrive this evening in Berg. The Carl-Johan lock staircase is the longest in the canal with seven connected locks. We dock for the night at the lowest lock.

Day 3 Berg – Motala

Depart for Vreta, and take a guided walk to see the church and ruins of the convent. Alternatively, walk along the canal or swim in Lake Roxen. The ship has passed all 15 locks in the Berg lock system. Cruise through two aqueducts crossing the highway and at Borensberg, a hand-operated lock is still in use. Pass the lovely Göta Hotel (1908) into Lake Boren. At Borenshult Lock staircase of five locks, you might hear the nightingale sing. Continue to Motala and visit the fascinating Motor Museum, before docking overnight.

Day 4 Motala – Hajstorp

Sail into Lake Vättern, Sweden’s second biggest lake, and visit Vadstena Castle, built in the 1540s by King Gustav Vasa, where local guides take you on the sightseeing train to the Abbey. Free time to walk around town or swim in the lake. Passing Karlsborg, see the roof of the fortress, built in 1819 - 1909. Forsvik has a very interesting industrial history and the lock, built in 1813, is the oldest one in the canal. Travel through narrow, wood lined passages and small lakes filled with water lilies into Lake Viken & on to Tåtorp with another interesting hand-operated lock. From here we travel downwards towards the Berge Canal. Overnight mooring at Hajstorp, close to the canal engineer’s former home.

Day 5 Hajstorp – Vanersborg

If you are an ‘early bird’ you can take a wonderful morning walk from Hajstorp to Godhögen, approximately 1.5km. At Sjötorp there is a set of eight locks and the ruins of old shipyards. We visit the old warehouse and Canal Museum and you can take a walk among the locks. We cruise into Lake Vänern, Sweden’s largest lake and the third largest in Europe. At Läckö Castle, built in 1298 as a bishop’s residence, you will have a guided tour of the baroque castle, before continuing to Vanersborg for the night.

Day 6 Vanersborg – Gothenburg

Visit the Trollhättan Canal Museum, stroll the beautiful old lock area then on to the impressive 4-lock staircase, with a drop of 32m. The 1916 lock at Lilla Edet is the last on our journey. Originally opened in 1607, it was the first in Sweden. Your journey ends this afternoon in Gothenburg at approximately 16:00 hours.

2024 departures Stockholm - Gothenburg: 
19 May
01, 04*, 14, 26 June
09, 21 July
03, 16, 21*, 28 August

2024 departures Gothenburg - Stockholm: 
13, 26, 29* May
08, 20 June
03, 15, 28 July
10, 15*, 22 August


*These departures will be on board the M/S Wilhelm Tham

All cabins have bunk berths/beds.

You can choose from the following cabin types:
Category A Bridge Deck - includes champagne and fruit on arrival, use of bathrobe - Double or Single
Category B Shelter Deck - Double or Single
Category C Main Deck - Double, Single, 'Queen' Double or 'Queen' Single (note, there are two cabins with a 120-cm wide Queen-size bed in category C)

Berths in double cabins cannot be booked by passengers travelling alone.

Minimum age: 7yrs. Children must have their own bed. No child discount.

Cabin sizes are comparable to a small sleeping compartment on a train and have bunk beds. All cabins are on the outside and above the waterline.

There are 3 decks in order from the waterline up:
Main deck with Category C cabins;
Shelter deck with Category B cabins, (on the level you enter the boat on, with dining and lounge areas, and small library)
Bridge Deck with Category A cabins, accessed by a steep set of stairs, with the bar area.

All cabins have a washbasin with hot and cold water. Shared toilet facilities are nearby on each deck. Shared shower facilities are nearby on Bridge Deck and Main Deck - when the door is closed there is complete privacy. There is no TV or radio on board. There is on board WiFi.

For onboard expenses, only credit cards are accepted - no cash.

Nordic Travel is 100% Australian owned and operated