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Gota Canal 4 Day Cruise, Gothenburg to Stockholm

2 Seas, 1 River, 3 Canals, 8 Lakes & 66 Locks!

4 Days / 3 locations in Sweden

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 longer 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.

It is also possible to take this cruise from Stockholm to Gothenburg or to take 2 and 6 day versions of this cruise.

Please see

Gota Canal 4 Day Cruise from Stockholm

Gota Canal 2 Day Cruise from Motala

Gota Canal 2 Day Cruise from Soderkoping

Gota Canal 6 Day Cruise from Gothenburg

Gota Canal 6 Day Cruise from Stockholm

Gota Canal Highlights - 3 Day CruiseGota Canal Highlights - 3 Day Cruise


Day 1     Gothenburg
Accommodation: Gota Canal Ships
Meals: Lunch / Dinner

09.00 Departure from Gothenburg, Packhuskajen

13.15 - 13.30 Lilla Edet The lock at Lilla Edet, built in 1916, is the first lock on our journey. The original lock was opened in 1607 and was the first lock in Sweden.

14.45 - 15.45 Trollhättan locks. 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.

15.45 - 17.15 Trollhättan. The Trollhättan Canal Museum is 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.

18.15 - 18.25 Brinkebergskulle The “Brinkebergskulle” lock is just before Vänersborg, which is the last town before we head out into Lake Vänern.

18.45 - 03.10 Lake Vänern 44 metres above sea level. Sweden’s largest lake and the third largest lake in Europe, after the Ladoga and Onega lakes in Russia.

23.30 Läckö Castle Our ship passes Läckö Castle, which 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 a baroque castle

in 1652.

Day 2     Gota Canal
Accommodation: Gota Canal Ships
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

03.10 - 05.20 Sjötorp Here we enter the first of the 58 narrow locks on the Göta Canal. At Sjötorp we have a set of eight locks and also the remains of some old shipyards.

07.40 - 09.20 Godhögen– Hajstorp övre. We pass a lock system consisting of four locks in beautiful surroundings. In 1822 the western

section of the Göta Canal was inaugurated at Hajstorp.

07.40 - 08.00 Godhögen– Riksberg

For “early birds” walking is possible from Godhögen to Riksberg, app. 1 km.

10.20 Töreboda The railway line between Stockholm and Gothenburg crosses the canal here. Töreboda also proudly presents Sweden’s smallest ferry, ”Lina”, which travels back and forth across the Göta


12.20 The Berg Canal

This part of the canal is called the Berg Canal and originally had a sharp bend which was straightened in 1930-33.

12.50 The Obelisk An obelisk marks the highest point (91.5 metres above sea level) of the Göta Canal.

13.20 - 13.30 Tåtorp One of the canal’s two hand-operated locks is found at Tåtorp.

13.30 - 15.35

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

14.35 - 15.35 The Spetsnäs Canal/ Billströmmen

We steer through two narrow, wood-lined passages and small lakes full of water lilies.

15.35 - 15.50 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. From here on we will be going downwards!

16.35 - 18.45 Karlsborg Fortress We visit Karlsborg Fortress, initiated by Baltzar von Platen and built 1819-1909. Here you can enjoy an interesting guided tour of the fortress and the beautiful Garrison Church.

18.45 - 21.00 Lake Vättern 89 metres above sea level. Sweden’s second largest lake.

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 Göta Canal”. In 1822 an engineering works, Motala Werkstad, was established here to serve the Göta Canal and is today considered to be the cradle of Swedish industry. Here you also find the head office of the Gota Canal Company, responsible for operation and maintenance. You can walk to see Baltzar von Platen’s grave, about 1 km along the left side of the canal. Overnight stop.

Day 3     Gota Canal
Accommodation: Gota Canal Ships
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

05:10 - 5:50 Lock staircase of five locks where you might hear the nightingale sing.

5:50 - 07:00 Lake Boren, 73 metres above sea level.

07:00 - 07:10 Borensberg has another of the canal’s hand-operated locks, after which we see the well-known Göta Hotel from 1908. Just past the hotel there is a small gazebo leaning out over a sharp bend in the canal, known as the “Helmsman’s Horror”.

7:30 The aqueduct at Kungs Norrby was built in 1993 and leads over the national route 36.

10:20 - Ljungsbro -We pass the second aqueduct on our journey. This one was built in 1970.

10:40 We start our descent in the lock system of Berg (15 locks) towards Lake Roxen.

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) 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.

12:10 - 13:10The Carl-Johan lock staircase is the longest in the canal with seven connected locks. Here we board the ship again before steering out on the lake.

13:10 - 15:30 - Lake Roxen, 33 metres above sea level.

15:30 - 15:40 - Norsholm lock - Here the canal crosses the main railway line between Stockholm and Malmö.

17:10 - 17:50 Lake Asplangen -27 metres above sea level.

19:40 - 20:40 At the lock Carlsborg Övre we have the first of the eight locks taking us down to Söderköping.

21:00 - 22:00 The idyllic town Söderköping was founded in the early 1200s and was very important during the Hanseatic period. The town also has a long and interesting history as a spa. Söderköping is yours to explore on your own.

23:20 - Passing through the last narrow lock before Slätbaken, an inlet of the Baltic, we leave the Göta Canal. On 26th Sept. 1832, the Göta Canal was inaugurated at Mem amid great pomp and circumstance in the presence of King Karl XIV Johan and his family.

23:20 - 08:45 We cross open water for a short bit and then weave through the archipelago in the early morning light.

Day 4     Stockholm
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch

8:45 - 8:55 Södertälje lock, 135 metres long, is the largest lock in Scandinavia.

8:55 - 15:20 Lake Malaren - 0.3 metres above sea level. Sweden’s third largest lake.

10:30 - 12:30 The Viking community of Birka on the island of Björkö is often regarded as Sweden's first town. The town was then an important harbour for international shipping and trade. It was in use for about 250 years and was abandoned before the year 1000. Birka features on UNESCO’S World Heritage list. There will be a guided tour around on the island (app. 3 km, uneven terrain), and we also visit the museum.

14:15 - Drottningholm Castle, home of the Royal family since 1981, is also found on the World Heritage list. We pass the castle if time admits.

15:30 - Hammarby lock - The final lock on our journey delivers us from Lake Mälaren into Saltsjön.

16:00 - Our cruise ends at Skeppsbrokajen 103, in the Old Town of Stockholm.



Early booking discount of 15% if booked by December 15, 2022!

Price Includes
Accommodations in Select Cabin Category
All Meals
Tax and Port Charges
Tour Escort
Sightseeing and Entrances Per Itinerary