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A cruise with a difference.

We’re most definitely in the age of the cruise, with a host of offers on cruise ships that get bigger and better and are veritable floating hotels. Most cruise lines advertise not just one but a host of pools and restaurants and there’s entertainment galore to be had.

But if you find the idea a tad impersonal and a bit OTT, there are other options available. Apart from specialist cruises such as a tall ships cruise or a small adventure cruise, we searched the web and came up with an old fashioned trip across Sweden by steamship, as reported in the Daily Mail.

You may be given a tiny cabin and the bar is a very simple affair, but the period Swedish steamships, which sail the inland waterways from east coast to west, have a laid back charm. And as you can take a short two day trip (the full trip is six days to cross Sweden) to the shores of Lake Vattern, it’s quite easy to enter into the spirit of things and enjoy some old fashioned relaxation as you poodle along at five knots.

The Gota Canal, almost 180 years old, joins the Swedish capital on the Baltic coast to its second city Gothenburg on the North Sea, via the large natural lakes in the centre of Sweden. The countryside is stunning, and to be enjoyed along with just 50 passengers. And you’ll be following in the footsteps of Hans Christian Andersen and Henrik Ibsen who sailed with the Gota Canal Steamship Company.

Two-day cruises cost from £417 and include one night's full-board accommodation and return travel by bus. Visit www.gotacanal.se for further details.

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