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Two seas, one river, three canals, eight lakes and 66 locks!

4 days / 3 nights, Göteborg – Stockholm


Göteborg – Stockholm, 4 days                                                                                                                                  

Day 1

09.00 Departure Göteborg, Packhuskajen 10

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.

14.45-15.30 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.

15.30-16.45 Trollhättan

Trollhättan Canal Museum is located in a storehouse from 1893. Here you can learn the fascinating history of the Trollhättan 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.

17.30 Vänersborg

This is the last town before we head out into Lake Vänern. The “Brinkebergskulle” lock is just before Vänersborg.

18.00-02.00 Lake Vänern, 44 meters above sea level. Sweden’s largest lake.

22.30 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. The boat goes close by and the tour guide will tell the story of the castle.

Day 2

02.00-03.30 Sjötorp

Here we enter the first of the 58 narrow locks on the Göta Canal. At Sjötorp there is a set of eight locks.

05.10-07.00 Godhögen-Hajstorp Övre

A lock system consisting of four locks. In 1822 the western section of the Göta Canal was inaugurated at Hajstorp. Walking is possible for “early birds”. 1.4 km.

08.00 Töreboda

The railway line between Stockholm and Göteborg crosses the canal here. Sweden’s smallest ferry, ”Lina”, travels back and forth across the Göta Canal.

10.20 The Berg Canal / the Obelisk

An obelisk marks the canal’s highest point (91.5 meters above sea level). A difficult bend was straightened in 1933, the Berg Canal.

10.50 Tåtorp

One of the canal’s two manually operated locks is found here.

10.50-13.00 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.

12.00-13.00 Spetsnäskanalen/Billströmmen

We steer through two narrow, wooded passages and small lakes with water lilies.

12.50-13.00 Forsvik

Forsvik lock, built in 1813, is the oldest lock on the Göta Canal. The impressive iron bridge was constructed in the same year.

12.50 Singing

Singing and flowers from the Kindbom family, a religious group. When we leave the lock we will be going downwards!

13.35 Karlsborg

Before our boat enters Lake Vättern, we pass Karlsborg and its fortress, which was built 1819-1909.

13.35-15.20 Lake Vättern, 89 meters above sea level. Sweden’s second largest lake

15.20-18.30 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 centre. 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.

19.45 Arrive Motala

As Baltzar von Platen had intended, Motala developed into a town. An engineering works, Motala Werkstad, was established here to serve the Göta Canal and was considered the cradle of Swedish industry. We visit Motala 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 3

05.00 Depart Motala

06.00-06.30 Borenshult

Lock stairway of five locks. The song of the nightingale is often heard in this area.

06.30-07.30 Lake Boren. 73 meters above sea level.

07.30-07.40 Borensberg

Here is a manually operated lock and the well-known Göta Hotel.

08.00 Aqueduct

East of Borensberg there is an aqueduct (built in 1993).

10.40 Ljungsbro Aqueduct

We pass over the second aqueduct (built in 1970) on our journey.

11.00 Berg (Heda)

Arrive at Berg’s lock system of 15 locks. The convent of Vreta Kloster, now a ruin, was the first to be built in Sweden. It dates from about 1100 and its importance was later over-shadowed by the convent founded by St. Birgitta in Vadstena. The church is one of the most interesting in Sweden, with many medieval works of art. Today, it is used as a parish church and therefore not always open. Guided walk (about 3 km, partly hilly) to Vreta Cloister ruins and church. Or walk along the canal on your own. Swimming in Lake Roxen is an option.

12.00-13.00 Berg (Carl-Johan)

With its seven interconnected locks, the Carl Johan lock stairway in Berg is the longest on the Canal. Board again by “Carl-Johan” lock, right side.

13.00-15.00 Lake Roxen. 33 meters above sea level.

15.00 Norsholm

The railway line between Stockholm and Malmö crosses here.

16.45-17.15 Lake Asplången, 27 meters above sea level

18.40-19.45 Carlsborg-Mariehov-Duvkullen

A set of nine locks taking us into Söderköping. Walk to Söderköping (4.3 km). Or 2 km from Carlsborg to Dufkullen.

20.00-21.30 Söderköping

Söderköping is an idyllic town, which was founded in the 13th century and it was most important during the Hansa period. The town also has a long and fascinating history as a spa. Walk on your own in town.

22.50 Mem

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.

22.50-07.45 The Baltic

We cross open water for a short bit and then weave through the archipelago in the early morning light.

Day 4

07.45-07.55 Södertälje

Södertälje lock, 135 meters long, is the largest lock we will go through.

07.55-13.50 Lake Mälaren. 0.3 meters above sea level. Sweden’s third largest lake.

09.00-11.00 Birka

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.

12.45 Drottningholm Castle

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.

14.00 Hammarby lock

The final lock on our journey.

14.30 Arrival Stockholm, Skeppsbrokajen.

Our cruise ends at Skeppsbrokajen 103, in the Old Town of Stockholm.



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