Silent Sunday on the Gota Canal

The Göta Canal which links Sweden’s two cities Stockholm and Gothenburg, runs through the heart of Sweden. A one-way trip on one of the historic ships that plies the route takes 6 days; it is like a journey into another world.

Cruising through archipelagos with thousands of small islands, one river, eight lakes, two seas and three canals with 66 locks (in one case ascending 91 metres) the ship makes several stops at places of interest along the way.

The ships used were built between 1874 and 1831 and are considered historically important. Furnished in a period style there is neither radio nor TV on board any of the ships, and the use of mobile phones is discouraged. Between 40-50 guests are accommodated in small cabins about the size of a sleeping compartment on a train with bunk beds and a wash basin with hot ad cold water. Communal showers only, I’m afraid, but the food makes up for it.

Fresh lake fish every day, game from the forest, the freshest of vegetables and saladings, lots of the berries for which Scandinavia is famous and of course that marvellous coffee and cake.

This journey along one of the world’s great canals is an experience like no other but is only available during the summer months. And in those cabins you really get to experience what travelling was like in the 19th century on board these ships that carried immigrants from rural Sweden out to America.

The 190 kilometres of the Göta Canal were dug out by hand between 1810 and 1832 and it runs from Sjötorp in the west to Mem in the east, it is three metres deep and approximately 14 metres wide.

9 thoughts on “Silent Sunday on the Gota Canal”

  1. I think you could because each day brings a different aspect of the travel. One day we got off at a Viking dig and joined a group of archaeologists to learn about their work and what they were looking for, then we walked with a guide over the island, another day it was to explore an ancient castle and surroundings. For me it was a perfect river journey, remote, different, and no tv, radio, phones.

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  2. Sounds like a very interesting journey through space and time. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts today. You have a wonderful website with so much to explore. I have to say that as impressive as your travels are, I’m more envious of the fact that you live in The Isle of Wight! I did visit as a kid but my memories are vague. It looks really edenic. Would love to visit again someday. Stay safe!

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    1. Thank you for your comments. I, too, have been enjoying your posts today and look forward to reading more. And keep well and safe, but continue to enjoy life.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I did this trip 13 years ago but it’s still running exactly the same. Nick hated the cramped surroundings and wouldn’t go again but I would, like a shot. It’s terribly expensive though, got to be for a special occasion, but we went at Midsummer ad sitting on deck at 2.00 a.m. while the day never ended,drifting through gorgeous scenery eating snowberries, raspberries and loganberries while eating chocolate and drinking coffee is something I’ll never forget. Also, one morning a family of violinists came to serenade us as we passed as we were the only people they saw on a weekly basis during summer: they saw no one at all during winter. Magical. I should blog about it really.


    1. Yes, but perfect. A lot of passengers are Swedish-Americans who have come to redo the journey once undertaken by their ancestors. on their way to Minnesota I think.

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