The Gota Canal Steamship Company – winner of the international TRIP Global Award 2010
The Gota Canal Steamship Company was founded in 1869 and was the first company to attract tourists to Sweden. Since 2001, the company is a member of the Strömma Group, a company oriented towards unique travel experiences and with a long tradition in the preservation and operation of historic vessels. The past seven years, more than 6 500 000 USD have been invested to renovate cabins and refurbish the bridge deck on all three ships, and dining room and lounge on two of them. New engines and modern navigation equipment have been installed as well. We work continuously on the careful preservation of the ships to keep an authentic onboard atmosphere for our guests.
Each of our three handsome, historical ships is designed to fit the narrow locks on the canal like a hand in a glove. Built in 1874, Juno is the world’s oldest registered ship with overnight accommodation. The Wilhelm Tham was built in 1912 and the youngest ship, Diana, in 1931. All three ships have been listed by the National Maritime Museums in Sweden, considering them historically important. We are naturally quite proud of this distinction as it proves our efforts to preserve the ships have succeeded.
The three ships make 4- and 6-day cruises on the Gota Canal – “Sweden’s Blue Ribbon” – between Sweden’s biggest cities Gothenburg and Stockholm, the capital. On the journey across Sweden, we pass through 66 locks, one river, three canals, eight lakes and two seas. The program also includes mini cruises of two and three days on the Gota Canal.
In addition to the lovely nature and historical sights that waits along the Gota Canal, we stop at some highpoints along the way to let the guests experience even more of everything that Sweden has to offer. Prices include all excursions and guided tours as well as accommodation and full board.
Everyday the gong rings for two-course lunches and three-course dinners. Between meals there is afternoon coffee or tea with something special on the side, all served on deck. We offer an international menu with a Swedish touch. Some of the menus are composed of the seasonal offerings of local suppliers along the Gota Canal. The ships are fully licensed and the wine list is carefully designed to suit all the various menus.
The target group consists of couples and singles aged 45-75, who are interested in river cruising, culture and history. The guests on board come from all over the world – Scandinavia, Western Europe, the United States, and also from other English speaking countries like Australia and New Zeeland. The average number of passengers on each cruise is 36 and the maximum is 50 and there are 9-11 crew members looking after the guests. Therefore the atmosphere on board is quite intimate and relaxed. The annual questionnaire which our guests fill out, shows that more than 95 % found that the cruise exceeded their expectations, which means that our Satisfied Customer Index is quite high.
The company was just awarded the international "TRIP Global Award", for "the best experience in Sweden". Tour operators from Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France, Great Britain, Russia and USA awarded the prize to the Gota Canal Steamship Company on October 28 in Stockholm.