The River Cruise You Haven’t Heard of: Sweden’s Gota Canal

The Juno cruises on Sweden's Gota Canal in summer months

One of the least known canal/river cruises in Scandinavia is Sweden’s Gota Canal, a three-night, four-day Sweden river cruise between Stockholm and Goteborg. Unlike the popular European cruise ships on the European Continent, The Gota Canal ships are much smaller, accommodating up to 50 guests.

I met with Albert, the firendly captain for the past 11 years of the Juno, one of three boats operated by the company, who showed me the vessel top to bottom, and met with the chef and some of the young crew onboard. The ship docks just near the Royal Palace in Old Town, Stockholm.

The cabins are super small, mostly upper and lower single-size bunks with a small sink and extremely small closet for hanging just a few things. Toilets and showers and shared, and there are a few on the boat. The cabins might best be compared to a train cabin. Luggage can be stored elsewhere onboard as there’s little room in the cabin for suitcases.

As such, it’s a three-star product. Public areas include the dining room, the library, and an outdoor bar and lounge area.

The mix of passengers is usually quite international, with Aussies, Brits, Germans, Austrians and some North Americans.

While such a short cruise isn’t a trip in itself for us on the West Coast of the USA, it could be a lovely way to slow down on a longer European or Scandinavian itinerary, especially when doing the one-way cruise, and seeing local life at a slower pace. There are a couple of bikes onboard, for those that wish to bike along during the journey, or while the vessel is in port. Given the size of the vessel, however, there isn't a lot of privacy, as passengers are likely to spend no time in their staterooms, except for sleeping. For those that enjoy socializing, however, there's great opportunities for that.

While we didn’t dine onboard, the food I'm told is considered very good, and all three meals are served in the restaurant.

If you’d like more information or wish to reserve the Gota Canal cruise as part of your Scandinavia adventure, just send us your request.

Dan Ilves