The traditional cruise in either direction between Gothenburg and Stockholm has been on the schedule almost every year since the shipping line was established in 1869. On the shorter cruises, the boat usually travels on during the night while you are asleep; only one night is spent in harbour. The 6 day cruises allow time for more stops and shore excursions along the way. The choice of stops is determined by the direction in which you are traveling.
Day 1: Depart Gothenburg at 10:00am. Departure from Gothenburg, Packhuskajen. At 2:15pm - 2:30pm Lilla Edet. The lock at Lilla Edet, built in 1916, is the first on our journey. The original lock was opened in 1607 and was the first lock in Sweden. At 3:45pm - 4:30pm Trollhättan locks. The impressive flight of locks at Trollhättan consists of four locks, covering a 32-meter difference in water level. There are three lock systems and the biggest one (from 1916) is still in use. Trollhättan Canal Museum is located in a storehouse from 1893.
Here you can learn the fascinating history of the Trollhätte Canal through e.g. some 50 boat models, underwater tools from the 19th century, a blacksmith’s workshop and an old lock hut. Film show. Walk to see the old locks. Visit the Canal Museum. At 19:30 arrive in Vänersborg. We visit Älgens Berg (Moose or Elk Mount), the Royal Hunting Museum, where you can get acquainted with the moose, king of the forests. There are also interesting exhibitions on the unique flora, fauna, geology and history of the Halleberg and Hunneberg areas. Bus to the Hunneberg Royal Hunt Museum for a guided tour. Overnight stop.
Day 2: At 4:45am depart Vänersborg. At 4:45am - 4.00pm Lake Vänern, 44 meters above sea level. Sweden’s largest lake and the third largest lake in Europe, after the Ladoga and Onega lakes in Russia. At 9:30am - 12:00am Läckö Castle. The Castle was 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 baroque style in 1652. Guided tour of the Castle (stairs). A walk of 2 km. At 4:00pm - 5:25pm Sjötorp. Here we enter the first of the 58 narrow locks on the Göta Canal.
At Sjötorp there is a set of eight locks and also the remains of some old shipyards. Possible to walk between lock 1-8. At 7:10pm - 8:45pm Godhögen-Hajstorp övre. A lock system consisting of four locks. In 1822 the western section of the Göta Canal was inaugurated at Hajstorp. A taste of Swedish music in the evening. At 8:45pm arrive Hajstorp. Our ship berths for the night, close to the Canal Engineer’s house.
Day 3: At 6:00am depart Hajstorp. At 7:00am Töreboda. The railway line between Stockholm and Gothenburg crosses the canal here. Sweden’s smallest ferry, ”Lina”, travels back and forth across the Göta Canal. At 9:00am The Berg Canal/the Obelisk. An obelisk marks the highest point (91.5 meters above sea level) of that part of the canal, which was excavated. A difficult bend was straightened in 1933, the Berg Canal. At 10:00am Tåtorp. One of the canal’s two hand-operated operated locks is found here. At 10:00am - 12:15am Lake Viken.
The beautiful Lake Viken (91.8 meters above sea level) serves as a water reservoir for the western section of the Göta Canal. At 11:10 - 12:15 the Spetsnäs Canal/Billströmmen. We steer through two narrow, wooded passages and small lakes with water lilies. Possibility to see osprey. At 12:15 - 12:35 Forsvik. Forsvik lock, built in 1813, is the oldest lock on the Göta Canal. The impressive iron bridge was constructed in the same year. At 12:15 singing. Singing and flowers from the Kindbom family, a religious group. When leaving the lock we will be going downwards.
At 12:50 Karlsborg. Before our ship enters Lake Vättern, we pass Karlsborg and its fortress, which was built 1819-1909. At 12:50-15:00 Lake Vättern, 89 meters above sea level. Sweden’s second largest and also deepest lake (128 meters deep). At 3:00pm - 6:00pm Vadstena. Vadstena is an idyllic small town, which is famous for St. Birgitta. It grew up around the 14th century convent, becoming a spiritual, cultural and commercial center. The Abbey was built to the design of St. Birgitta and was consecrated in 1430. The Castle was built in the 1540s by King Gustav Vasa. Guided tour by a ”sight-seeing train” to the Castle and Abbey church. Swimming is possible. At 19:30 arrive Motala. We visit the Motor Museum, which has an exhibition of antique cars and motorcycles in authentic surroundings, a collection of radios, toys, household appliances and more. Visit a museum. Walk to von Platen’s grave, 1 km walk (left side of the canal). Overnight stop.
Day 4: At 8:00am departure to Motala. At 9:00am - 09:40am Borenshult. Lock stairway of five locks where you can hear the nightingale sing. At 9:40am -10:40am Lake Boren, 73 meters above sea level. At 10:40am - 11:40am Borensberg. There is a hand-operated lock here, after which we see the well-known Göta Hotel from 1908. Farther on in the Västanå Bend, known as the "mate's dread", there is a summer pavilion. At 12:00 Kungs Norrby, aqueduct. Two more recent aqueducts have been built to carry the canal, one at Kungs Norrby built in 1993 as part of the national route 36.
At 2:40pm Ljungsbro, aqueduct. The Ljungsbro aqueduct was built in 1970 to reduce traffic into the community. At 3:00pm Berg (Heda). Here we pass through a system of 15 locks. The convent of Vreta Kloster dates from about 1100 and was the first nunnery in Sweden. Its importance was later superseded by the convent founded by Saint Birgitta in Vadstena. The church at Vreta Kloster is one of Sweden's most interesting, offering many medieval treasures. Guided walk (about 3 km, partly hilly) to Vreta Kloster ruins and church. Or walk along the canal on your own. Swimming in Lake Roxen is an option. At 4:30pm - 5:30pm Berg (Carl-Johan). The Carl-Johan lock stairway is the longest in the canal with seven connected locks. Board again by “Carl-Johan” lock, right side. At 5:30pm - 7:30pm Lake Roxen, 33 meters above sea level. At 7:30pm Norsholm lock. Here the canal crosses the main railway line between Stockholm and Malmö. Lake Asplången, 27 meters above sea level. At 10:00pm arrive Klämman. We berth at the water regulating lock “Klämman”.
Day 5: At 7:30am departure Klämman. At 8:20am - 9:30am Carlsborg–Mariehov–Duvkullen. In the short distance of around two kilometers there are nine locks. You can walk the whole way on the right side of the canal, starboard of the ship. Or you can walk a shorter distance. Walk to Söderköping (4.3 km) or 2 km from Carlsborg to Dufkullen. At 10:00 - 12:00 Söderköping. The idyllic town Söderköping was founded in the early 1200s and was very important during the Hansa period. It also has a long and very interesting history as a spa. Time at your own disposal in Söderköping. Don't forget to try their famous ice cream!
At 1:15pm Mem. Passing through the last narrow lock before Slätbaken, an inlet of the Baltic, we leave the Göta Canal. At 1:15pm the Baltic. We cross open water for a short bit and then weave through the archipelago. At 2:00pm - 3:30pm Stegeborg. The ruins of the Stegeborg Fort are beautifully situated on a small island. The fort was constructed during the early Middle Ages and was built to protect the inlet leading into Söderköping. Guided tour of the garden and ruins of Stegeborg. Hilly country. At 8:00pm arrive Sävsundet. Overnight stop at the old pilot station, waiting for dawn.
Day 6: At 4:40am depart Sävsundet. At 8:10am - 8:20am Södertälje. Södertälje lock, 135 meters long, is the largest lock on our journey. At 8:20am - 2:50pm Lake Mälaren, 0.3 meters above sea level. Sweden’s third largest lake. The Viking community of Birka on the island of Björkö is often regarded as Sweden's first town. The town was an important harbor for international shipping and trade. It was in use for about 250 years and was abandoned before the year 1000. Birka features on the World Heritage list. Guided walk on the island (about 3 km hilly walk) and visit a museum. Drottningholm Castle, the home of the Royal family since 1981, is on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites. The castle is passed when there is time enough. At 3:00pm Hammarby lock. The final lock on our journey. At 3:30pm arrive Stockholm, Skeppsbrokajen. Our cruise ends at Skeppsbrokajen 103, in the Old Town of Stockholm.
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