Ferries to Sweden
Routes, Tickets & Timetables
Which ferry should I take now, some will ask themselves when looking at the route map. The simple answer: it depends… where you come from, where in Sweden you want to go, how much money you want to spend and also whether you want to travel overnight or rather during the day.
Directly by ferry across the Baltic Sea to Sweden
In Germany there are four ferry ports with a direct connection to Sweden: Kiel, Travemünde (near Lübeck), Rostock and Saßnitz (on the island of Rügen).
The routes Kiel – Gothenburg (Stena Line) and Rostock – Stockholm (Hansa Destinations) will take you the farthest north. Both routes are ideal for those who want to go to Gothenburg, Stockholm or even further north and don’t want to spend a lot of time in the car. The daily connection of Stena Line is one of the most popular routes to Sweden at all. The ship departs Kiel in the evening at 18:45 and is already in Gothenburg the next morning.
The direct connection to Stockholm is offered three times a week; departure is always at 7 p.m., arrival in the Stockholm suburb of Nynäshamn is the next morning. Once a week there is a stopover in Visby on the island of Gotland.
From the other three ferry ports you “only” get to southern Sweden, either to Malmö, Trelleborg or Ystad. The routes from Travemünde and Rostock are quite similar: if you are coming from Hamburg, the port in Travemünde is recommended; if you are coming from Berlin, the port in Rostock. The routes on this route are offered several times a day, both during the day and at night. During the day you do not have to book a cabin, the crossing is then significantly cheaper.
The route from Sassnitz, which has only existed in this form since September 2020, occupies a special position. With a travel time of only 2.5 hours, it is by far the shortest and fastest connection from Germany to Sweden. This time saving also makes it an alternative for travelers from western Germany, despite the long journey.
The 6 direct routes from Germany to Sweden:
Via Denmark to Sweden
The best known route via Denmark is the so-called Vogelfluglinie Puttgarden – Rødby between the islands of Fehmarn and Lolland (travel time 45 minutes). The further route by car to Copenhagen takes about 2 hours, from there it continues over the (chargeable) Öresund Bridge to Malmö. Or you can drive about 60 km further north from Copenhagen and take the ferry from Helsingør to Helsingborg, which is also operated by Scandlines.
The corresponding route from Rostock to Gedser works quite analogously. It is only slightly longer and here, too, you can choose between the Öresund Bridge and the ferry from Helsingør to Helsingborg for the onward journey.
Another alternative for the trip to the Swedish west coast are the connections Grenå – Halmstad and Frederikshavn – Gothenburg, which run several times a day.
Via Poland to Sweden
If you live east of Berlin, you should definitely also look at the routes via Poland. These can also be an interesting alternative financially.
Directly on the German border on the Polish side of the island of Usedom is the ferry port Świnoujście (Swinemünde). The direct route to Trelleborg is a cheap alternative for the comparable route from Rostock or Sassnitz.
Much further east are the ferry ports in Gdynia and Gdansk. For those traveling from eastern Germany and wanting to get to Stockholm (or further north), the route from Gdansk to Nynäshamn south of Stockholm is still an interesting option. A family of four, including cabin and car, pays only about 400 euros for the 18-hour crossing: departure is at 6 p.m., and by lunch you are already in Stockholm.
Via Norway to Sweden
The ships of the Norwegian shipping company Color Line, which sail daily from Kiel to Oslo, are particularly luxurious. The crossings are also marketed as cruises, and the quality of the cabins and food on board is correspondingly high.
A crossing for a family of four (with car + cabin) is available in the high season from about 560 euros. This is expensive, but if you are traveling to central Sweden (e.g. Värmland or Dalarna) you save a lot of car travel. And Oslo is of course in itself a city that you should definitely visit.
It is also possible to cross from Denmark to Norway and continue to Sweden. You can find these routes on our page: Ferries to Norway.
Other routes to Sweden
From Sweden there are also direct ferry routes to Finland, the Baltic States and Russia.