Cruise, Göta Canal
The four-day trip in one of the old passenger boats on the Göta Canal from Göteborg to Stockholm (or vice versa) is one of the most memorable tourist experiences Sweden can offer. The total distance by water is 560km/350miles, of which 87km/55mi are in canals. To overcome a difference in height of 91.5m/300ft there are 65 locks on the route.
Trollhättan - On Göta Canal
Starting from Gøteborg, the boat sails up the Götaälv, passing the ruins of Bohus Castle, and comes in some five hours to Trollhättan (alt. 38m/125ft). While the boat is passing through the locks (height difference 32m/105ft) there is time to look round the power station.
Lake Vänern - Göta Canal
By the time (about 6pm) the boat enters Lake Vänern at Vänersborg (alt. 44m/144ft) is has passed through six locks. The size of the locks varies considerably; some operate automatically.
In Lake Vänern the boat passes (on right) Läckö Castle, on the Kållandsö peninsula, built in 1298 by the bishop of Skara. Opposite it is the wooded hill of Kinnekulle (307m/1,007ft).
Sjötorp - Lake Viken
On the east side of Lake Vänern, at Sjötorp, is the beginning of the Ästergötland section of the Göta Canal, where during the night and early morning the boat climbs 47m/154ft over a distance of 36km/22mi, with the help of 20 locks, to reach Tåtorp on Lake Viken (which serves as a storage reservoir for this part of the canal).At Lyrestad the canal is crossed by the E 3, and at Stora Lanthöjden it reaches its highest point (91.5m/300ft above sea level).
Lake Vättern - On the Göta Canal
The boat continues through Lake Viken (area 46sq.km/18sq.mi, depth 25m/82ft) and the adjoining Lake Botten (13sq.km/5sq.mi) to the south, with the Vaberg (226m/742ft) on the right, to enter Lake Vättern at Karlsborg.
The passage across the northern part of Lake Vättern takes four hours. The boat reaches the eastern shore at Vadstena (where there is time for a tour of the town and a visit to the castle) and then skirts the shore to Motala, where the Östergötland section of the canal begins.
On the north bank of the Göta Canal can be seen the tomb of Baron von Platen who died in 1829 before the canal was completed. Then a series of six locks leads down to Lake Boren (alt. 74m/243ft), and the boat continues across the lake to reach Borensberg at its east end in the early morning.Over the next 22.2km/14mi, until the canal enters Lake Roxen at Berg (alt. 32.5m/107ft), it descends another 41.5m/136ft, passing through 16 locks.
Lake Roxen (Lake Asplång, Söderköping)
Then follows a stretch of 26km/16mi through Lake Roxen (alt. 32.5m/107ft) and the narrow Lake Asplång (alt. 27m/89ft), 5km/3mi long, after which the canal descends, through 15 locks, to the old town of Söderköping, which is reached about 8 p.m. (time for a tour of the town).
From Söderköping it is another 5km/3mi to Mem, where the Göta Canal reaches Slätbaken, a 15km/9mi-long inlet on the Baltic. On its south side can be seen the tower of the ruined castle of Stegeborg.
From here the boat turns north through the skerries and the open Baltic, passing the inlet of Bråvik and the steel town of Oxelösund, to enter the long, narrow Himmerfjärd, which leads into the fjord-like Hallsfjärd and the 5km/3-mi-long Södertälje Canal (constructed 1806-19), linking Lake Mälar with the Baltic.
Map - Cruise
Map of Stockholm Attractions