Göta Canal

Canal boats and activities through beautiful Sweden.

Beautiful Göta Canal that stretches to Stockholm!

It is hard to understand that it took 22 years to build the Göta canal. Construction of the canal began in 1810 and the canal was inaugurated in 1832 with King Karl XIV Johan, Queen Desideria and their son Prince Oscar I during great festivities.

It wasn't until the 1970s that tourists caught sight of Göta Kanal. At this time, there were more vacation days and prosperity was increasing in Sweden. The canal was equipped at a cost of SEK 45 million to accommodate the tourists. The locks that were operated by hand became mechanical.

Today you can travel by boat on the canal, stay in hostels, cycle, hike and much more.

Göta Kanal

About Göta Canal

118 miles long with 58 locks
The Göta Canal stretches from Sjötorp on Lake Vänern to Mem on the Baltic Sea (118 miles) and connects with the Trollhätte Canal and Göta Älv towards the Kattegat. On April 12, 1810, Baltzar von Platen received permission from the King to begin building the Göta Canal. Finally, it might be possible to get via the waterway between the Kattegat and the Baltic Sea via Lake Vänern and Lake Vättern. Together with British canal builder Thomas Telford, the realization of the canal now began. It took over 20 years to build the canal. One of the reasons for this waterway through Sweden was to escape the Öresund toll to the Danes for ships that would cross the Öresund on their way around Sweden's southern tip. The canal was built by over 58,000 soldiers from Sweden's various regiments. There were also Russian deserters who volunteered for the construction. Several of them worked with just their hands. At this time, there were not many tools for building. The soldiers who took part in the work received a silver medal with King Karl XIV Johan's picture and the inscription "For active assistance to the Hafven Association. Given by the Göta Canal Company".

Göta Kanal was inaugurated on September 26, 1832 by the king and is said to have cost 9 million riksdaler (about 14 billion in today's money value). Unfortunately, Baltzar von Platen never got to see his life's work finished when he died in 1829.

Shipping by ship was very important during the 19th century. When the railway was expanded more, canal freight decreased drastically. The Öresund toll was abolished so traffic on the Göta Canal gradually decreased. As early as the 1870s, tourists had opened their eyes to go boating along the canal. However, it was not until around the 1970s that the flow of tourists increased drastically. Today, the canal is one of Sweden's most cultural-historical objects and every summer it is planned for a boat holiday along the canal. Even foreign tourists have opened their eyes to travel at a leisurely pace through a fantastic landscape on board beautiful boats with good food. The highlights of the trip apart from the beautiful nature and picturesque communities are all the locks you pass to get between Gothenburg and Stockholm. Along the canal there are 58 locks and 2 aqueducts. While passing a lock, there is time to get off the boat and walk along the side of the canal and look around among the surroundings.

Company Göta Canal AB
The company was founded in 1869 under the name Ångfartygsaktiebolaget Motala Ström. During the 1870s, the tourist traffic started Göta canal. It was absolutely fantastic to enjoy a trip on the canal between Gothenburg and Stockholm. It was cozy to be able to spend the night on board and eat good food in the restaurant. Tourists flock to and this meant that more passenger boats were built to be able to take more tourists. The canal boat Juno, which was delivered in 1874, is still in service along the Göta Canal and is now the world's oldest registered passenger boat with accommodation. As early as 1876, the company began a collaboration with Thomas Cook & amp; Co in London. They wanted to bring English tourists here. Work began in the 1920s to invest heavily in England, but the economic crisis of the 1930s, followed by World War II, had the opposite effect. In 1957, the shipping company got a new name and a new owner, Rederi AB Göta Kanal was adopted. Since 2001, the company has been part of the Strömmagruppen. The cruises are today very popular in Sweden and even guests from all over the world want to travel the waterway between Gothenburg and Stockholm every summer.