Company History

The history of Rederiaktiebolaget Göta Kanal

The shipping company was founded on February 27, 1869, under the name Ångfartygsaktiebolaget Motala Ström. The first boat was Motalaström, built already in 1855. In addition to deck passengers, she was rebuilt to take 20 passengers in first class, 16 in second class and 12 in third class. The start of the operation exceeded expectations and two new boats named Venus and Juno were ordered by Motala Werkstad shipyard. The canal boat Juno, which was delivered in 1874, still operates and is the world's oldest registered passenger boat with sleeping accommodations. In 1876 ​​the shipping company entered a partnership with Thomas Cook & Co in London, a successful attempt to be the first Swedish company  to attract tourists to Sweden. In the 1880s the company had no fewer than 11 boats in service, several of which were combined as cargo and passenger ships.

International attention

After a break during World War I, the business was resumed in the 1920s and was soon up to speed again. Posters and brochures in 16 different languages ​​were spread all over the world. During this period, it was also possible to travel half the distance by bus with many cultural stops in region of Västergötland. The trip then continued with a canal boat from Jönköping to Stockholm. Just before the 1930s the prospects were good, and another new boat was ordered and delivered in 1931, Diana. However, during the 1930's the economic situation quickly changed and the tourist stream did not materialize. At the outbreak of World War II the boats were laid up for the duration of the war.

In the years 1947-1956 the company was run by different owners with a varying success. In 1957 the company was bought by ship-owner Helge Källsson in Lidköping and the company was renamed Rederi AB Göta Kanal. The three remaining boats Juno, Wilhelm Tham and Diana were modernized and carefully restored. In 1986 Helge Källsson's daughter, Britmari Brax took over the shipping company.

A part of the Strömma Group

Since January 2001, the shipping line 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.

Read more about the Strömma Group here >>