A sightseeing boat trip along the canals and out into the harbor will show you the old parts of central Gothenburg and take you under 20 bridges and out into the harbor. Paddan Sightseeing Boats (tel. 031/60-96-70) offers 55-minute tours, with a brisk multilingual commentary. The schedule is as follows: April 4 to 27 Friday and Sunday 11:30am to 3pm; April 28 to May 18 daily 10:30am to 5pm; May 19 to June 15 daily 10am to 7pm; June 16 to August 10 daily 10:30am to 8:15pm; August 11 to 31 daily 10am to 6pm; September 1 to 28 Monday to Thursday 11:30am to 4pm, Friday to Sunday 10:30am to 5pm; September 29 to October 19 noon to 3pm (weather permitting). Boats depart from the Paddan terminal at Kungsportsplatsen, which straddles the Avenyn in the city center. The fare is 125SEK ($25/£13) for adults, 70SEK ($14/£7) for children 6 to 16, and free for kids under 4. A family ticket (two adults and two children) costs 350SEK ($70/£35). We advise you to dress warmly for this trek, as part of the itinerary takes you out into the sometimes-wind-lashed harbor for views of the dockyards and ship-repair docks. If it's less than perfect weather, it's even a good idea to buy a poncho from the ticket window for around 95SEK ($19/£9.50). When it gets truly drenching out in the harbor, you'll be glad you did. Frankly, we really enjoy this tour -- it really helps you understand the layout of Gothenburg and its harbor.

Nya Elfsborg (tel. 031/60-96-70) is docked in the 17th-century Fästning fortress at the harbor's mouth. This boat takes you on a 90-minute tour from Lilla Bommen through the harbor -- to and around Elfsborg Fortress, built in the 17th century to protect the Göta Älv estuary and the western entrance to Sweden. Elfsborg still bears traces of hard-fought sea battles against the Danes. Carvings on the prison walls tell tales of the threats to and hopes of the 19th-century life prisoners. A guide will be waiting for you at the cafeteria, museum, and souvenir shop for a 30-minute guided tour, in English and Swedish, of the fortress. There are five departures per day from mid-May to the end of August. The fare is 140SEK ($28/£14) for adults, or 70SEK ($14/£7) for children 6 to 16.

The meticulously restored MS S:t Erik, originally built in 1881, is available for evening cruises along the waterways of Gothenburg's southern archipelago. For information about tours, check with the tourist office. Or contact Borjessons Line (tel. 031/60-96-70), which provides excursion packages, brochures, tickets, and timetables. The tour costs 180SEK ($36/£18) for adults and 90SEK ($18/£9) for children 6 to 16. Departure times vary widely with the season and with demand.

For a guided 1-hour bus tour of Gothenburg, go to the tourist office or call tel. 031/60-96-70 for details. Between June and August, city tours are offered between five and seven times daily depending on demand. From September to May, the tour runs only on Saturday twice a day. The fare is 125SEK ($25/£13) for adults, 70SEK ($14/£7) for children and students. Passengers buy their tickets directly aboard the bus, which departs from a clearly signposted spot adjacent to the Stora Theatern.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.