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8 days - Enjoy the Göta Canal in it's entirety.
Enjoy an unforgettable 6-day cruise on the most spectacular waterway through the heartland of Sweden with a night either side in Stockholm and Gothenburg in our carefully picked boutique hotels. Onboard one of the world’s oldest passenger ships you will experience two seas, eight lakes and three canals with 66 locks. Travel serenely past medieval churches, picturesque towns, fields of flowers and lush forests. On this voyage, the ship docks every night so you don't miss a thing.
The journey is an intimate experience with no more than 50 guests onboard. All food and excursions together with a guide are included. With a night in Stockholm and Gothenburg, you will love this journey through Swedish history and culture.
- Day 1
- Stockholm - stroll in the Old Town and along the canals
- Day 2
- Walk to the Skeppsbron quay and board M/S Diana
- Day 3
- Stegeborg Castle & the first of the locks of the canal
- Day 4
- Explore historic churches, take a swim and visit the Motor Museum of Motala
- Day 5
- Head out onto Lake Vättern
- Day 6
- Walk along the canal, visit Castles and enjoy time on board M/S Diana
- Day 7
- Trollhättan Canal Museum and then arrive into Gothenburg
- Day 8
- Depart Gothenburg
- Start Place
- Stockholm, Sweden
- End Place
- Gothenburg, Sweden
- Country Visited
- 8 Days
- Start Date
- Travel Style
- Easy independent voyage suitable for singles & couples
Please note that all our itineraries, inclusions, dates and prices displayed on this website may change at any time. If you book an itinerary today and have this confirmed it will be the itinerary that is delivered to you. However, the online itinerary on our website may change in the meantime.
Three handsome, historical ships designed to fit the most narrow lock on the canal sail each summer along the Göta Canal. Built in 1874, Juno is the oldest ship still in regular service. The Wilhelm Tham was built in 1912 and our youngest ship, Diana, in 1931.
They have been carefully refurbished and preserved to reflect the times when they were built. On this 6 day cruise, M/S Diana will be your home.
The M/S Diana is the youngest of the company’s ships, built at the Finnboda shipyard outside Stockholm and launched in 1931. There are 25 cabins on three decks. The dining room and lounge are found on the shelter deck and the bridge deck offers a covered aft deck with a perfect view.
The Diana differs from the other ships with a dining room and lounge built as one room, making her highly suitable for meetings or conferences for up to approx. 50 people. She was also renovated in 2003 and her furnishings and atmosphere share the period style of the other ships.
There are three cabin classes, one on each of the ship's decks - the bridge, shelter and main decks. Most of the cosy, small cabins are fitted with bunk beds and a washbasin. There are shared WCs and showers on each deck. Please consult the deck plan when you speak to us to arrange for a cabin that suits your needs - either close to the facilities or at a distance.
Minimum Age is 7 years old and children need to have their own bed.
- 7 x breakfasts, 6 x two-course lunches and 5 x three-course dinners
- 2 nights in Director's choice hotel
- Six days and five nights on board, nine stops of varying duration
- Private transfers from hotel to dock in Stockholm and Gothenburg
- The impressive lock staircase in Trollhättan with a total drop of 32 metres and the Canal Museum
- Sweden’s smallest ferry, ”Lina”, in Töreboda
- Forsvik with the oldest lock in the canal, built in 1813
- Karlsborg Fortress, offering a journey through time and space
- Motala, the capital of the Gota Canal, although the motor museum tour will no longer be included due to time restrictions
- The convent church of Vreta and the remains of Sweden's first convent
- The Viking community of Birka, Sweden’s first town
- 24-hour emergency service
- Taxes and service fees
- Arrival and departure transfer at the start and end of the trip
- Meals not specified in the itinerary
- Gratitudes and items of personal nature
- Domestic or international flights
- Travel insurance
Day 1 - Stockholm - stroll in the Old Town and along the canals
Arrive Stockholm and settle into your hotel. A short walk past numerous galleries and along buzzing canals gets you to the city centre. 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 centres in the world.
Be sure to head out by ferry to the ABBA museum to enjoy some fun karaoke and a walk in Skansen before dinner at one of the Old Town restaurants.
Optional Add Ons
Day 2 - Walk to the Skeppsbron quay and board M/S Diana
The cruise departs in the morning at 10am from Skeppsbron quay in the Old Town of Stockholm. The guide welcomes you aboard and shows you to your cabin. 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 metres long.
Continue through the archipelago of St Anna and Södermanland before arriving to Trosa. The small town of Trosa dates all the way back to the 14th century. It was then known as a fishermen's village. Regular steamer traffic from Stockholm and Nyköping began in 1860, bringing large numbers of summer visitors. Enjoy a walk around the canals and alleys of Trosa (app. 2.5 km). The ship stops overnight in Sävsundet.
Day 3 - Stegeborg Castle & the first of the locks of the canal
After breakfast you will arrive at Stegeborg Castle and be taken on a guided tour. The castle is situated on a small island overlooking the bay of Slätbaken. The fort dates from 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 metres. The ship stops overnight in Berg, arriving at 10.20 pm.
Day 4 - Explore historic churches, take a swim and visit the Motor Museum of Motala
Departing at 9am from Berg, head to the convent of Vreta which dates from about 1100BC and was the first nunnery in Sweden. 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) 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.
Today you will pass two aqueducts before arriving at 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.
Day 5 - Head out onto Lake Vättern
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 medieval 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. Through two narrow, wood-lined passages and small lakes full of water lilies, we steer out into Lake Viken. An obelisk marks the highest point (91.5 metres above sea level) of the Göta Canal. This part of the canal is called the Berg Canal and originally had a sharp bend which was straightened in 1930-33.
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 at around 10pm.
Day 6 - Walk along the canal, visit Castles and enjoy time on board M/S Diana
If you are an "early bird" you can take a wonderful morning walk from Hajstorp to Godhögen, app. 1.5 km. At Sjötorp 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 décor, a café and the Sjötorp Canal Museum. In the museum you can see old pictures of Sjötorp, the interiors of several old ships, a large collection of ships’ engines, etc. It is also possible to take a walk along the locks.
At 3pm in the afternoon arrive at Läckö Castle, built in 1298 as a bishop’s residence. Its golden age was during the reign of Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie, who transformed it into a baroque castle in 1652. We are given a guided tour of the castle and the exhibitions (lots of stairs). App. 2 km walk.
Arrive at Vänersborg at 10pm for an overnight stay.
Day 7 - Trollhättan Canal Museum and then arrive into Gothenburg
Our first stop this morning at 8.45am, is the Trollhättan Canal Museum located in a storehouse from 1893. Learn more about the fascinating history of the Trollhätte Canal through the interesting exhibition and film shown here. You can also take a walk through the beautiful old lock area. The impressive lock staircase at Trollhättan 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. Finally, the last lock is Lilla Edet, the first lock in Sweden built in 1607.
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. Or head to the amusement park, Liseburg for some fun!
Day 8 - Depart Gothenburg
After breakfast, the tour ends.
All prices listed are per person, twin share, based on Superior = Category B (Shelter deck). Upgrades possible to the Suite = Category A (Bridge Deck including champagne, fruit & bathrobe). Departs fortnightly during summer.
Departures for 2024, Stockholm to Gothenburg: 18th May, 31st May, 3rd June, 13th June, 25th June, 8th July, 20th July, 2nd August, 15th August, 20th August and 27th August 2024. All of these departures have M/S Diana as the boat, except the 3rd June and 20th August have M/S Wilhelm Tham.
Departures for 2024, Gothenburg to Stockholm: 12th May, 25th May, 28th May, 7th June, 19th June, 3rd July, 14th July, 27th July, 9th August, 14th August and 21st August 2024. All of these departures have M/S Diana as the boat, except the 29th May and 14th August have M/S Wilhelm Tham.
2 Sep 2024
2 Sep 2024
The cabins are elegant but small. The cabins are fitted with bunk beds and are about the same size as a sleeping compartment on a train. As the berths vary in length, we ask that you tell us ahead of time if you are above medium height. The cabins are fitted with a washbasin with hot and cold water. There are showers on all decks, and toilets on all. Please consult the deck plan to arrange for a cabin that suit your needs - either close to the facilities or at a distance.
None of the cabins have private facilities. There is one cabin with a Queen bed - please check with us to see if this is available.
This trip can run in reverse - Gothenburg to Stockholm.
Interactive Tour Map
Travel insurance is compulsory for all tours with 50 Degrees North. The safety of our travellers, staff and operators is a major priority of 50 Degrees North. With an operational office in Norway, 50 Degrees North has access to an up-to-the-minute flow of information regarding the countries we work in. We are also in regular contact with the various operators we use. Their in-depth knowledge and understanding of their various areas is vital.
General Information Göta Canal Voyages
The key to enjoying a Göta Canal voyage is so slow down & relax. The pace may be something new for modern people, but it is basically a classic way to travel and socialize.
You feel it at once as you walk the gangplank - whether you're boarding the M/S Juno, Diana or Wilhelm Tham, you've entered history. The standard may be a bit old-fashioned, but still nostalgically luxurious.
Boarding takes place at the earliest one hour and no later than 30 minutes before departure. A Swedish tour guide welcomes you at the gangway, after which the crew will help you with your luggage and show you to your cabin. Enjoy a coffee or tea in the dining room when you ready.
Daily information meetings are held in three languages (Swedish, English and German). 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. The tour guide will be available throughout the cruise and even leads some of the trips ashore.
On the shelter deck you will find the dining room and the lounge. As the experience is all about a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere, there is neither radio nor TV on board.
We also recommend that you don't use your mobile phone on board – there are plenty of opportunities for that when the ship lands. On the 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 bar to enjoy.
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. For reasons of space, we recommend that you only bring a medium-sized bag to push under the berth. Large suitcases can be stored in a luggage room on board. As the berths vary in length, please tell us ahead of time if you are above average height (approx. 175 cm).
All cabins are fitted with a washbasin with hot and cold water. The water is drinkable. There are showers on all decks (except for shelter deck on M/S Diana), and toilets on all. The ships all use 220 V and there are outlets in all cabins.
In the ship's lounge you find a varied library that contains varied non-fiction in Swedish, English and German, including material on the canal, its history and its surroundings. There is also an onboard souvenir shop with books, postcards and souvenirs.
Mealtime drinks, purchases from the souvenir shop and bar expenses are put on your cabin number. The bill is then cleared on the last day either in cash (SEK) or using the most common credit cards (VISA, American Express, EuroCard and Master Card).
As soon as possible after boarding, please visit the dining room to have some tea or coffee.
The meals are an important part of the journey. Each day, enjoy a fixed menu for lunch and dinner, two courses for lunch and three for dinner. A breakfast buffet is served every morning, except on the first day of the cruise. Alcohol is not included with your voyage but is available from the bar or with meals.
The old towpaths alongside the Göta Canal offer many wonderful opportunities for walking or running. You can also borrow one of the ship’s two bicycles for explorations along the waterway.
Daytime wear should be comfortable, since much of the time is spent outdoors. You should bring something warm and a windproof jacket, but also your summer wardrobe. 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 enough.