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WorldNorth SeaBaltic SeaSweden
Sweden on the Baltic
Capital Stockholm
Language Swedish
Currency Swedish Krona (SEK)
Time zone CET (UTC+1) , DST: CEST (UTC+2)
Calling code +46

Sweden with a population of 10,207,086 people is today an affluent country with one of the highest standards of living in the world and, although the boom-years are over and government expenditure is being reduced, the country is still seen by many as a utopian state in comparison with others.


The Swedish state began to take form during the Viking era, i.e. between the years 750 and 1060. From having being composed of a series of clans or small chiefdoms Scandinavia went through a process of development ending in the building of two influential clans or tribes in Sweden, the Göter (not to be confused with the Goths) and the Sveas. The “states” of the Götas and Sveas eventually merged into what became Sweden but, despite the merger, the two regions of Götaland and Svealand still exist.

By the advent of the Middle Ages their was a power struggle between the country’s predominant families. The political situation was very unstable, not least because the Swedish King at this time was an elected monarch with the electorate consisting of the Council of Aristocrats. The King’s influence and power was severely limited as he governed solely by the support of the aristocracy.

The political situation became even more parlous in 1397 when Denmark, Norway and Sweden were united by forming the Kalmar Union. This was done to counterbalance the strength of the Hanseatic League. The king of Denmark was elected to head the Union, which later gave rise to a bitter struggle for power between Denmark and Sweden. The struggle culminated in the Stockholm Bloodbath in 1520 when the Danish king, Kristian II invited Swedish nobles to a feast and, after having wined and dined them beheaded them. Sweden revolted and Gustav Vasa became king in 1521.

Gustav Vasa, a staunch autocrat, was a strong leader who imposed land taxes which lead to several local rebellions. These were effectively put down using the force of arms and generally the rebels did not survive, thus lending the king’s authority even more strength.

Gustav Vasa introduced many reforms. Undoubtedly the most important of these was the reform of the church, causing Sweden to become a protestant (Lutheran) country.

In the 16th century the German Order State ceased to exist leaving Denmark, Poland, Russia and Sweden to compete for power in the Baltic region. Sweden, participating in and taking advantage of the civil war which raged in Russia in the beginning of the century, negotiated a peace treaty with Russia which added Finland to the previously occupied northern Estonia.

Not surprisingly, England sensing a good opportunity for trade opened shipping routes to the Baltic. This lead to increased struggles in the region as the national states sought even to control British shipping. The ever adaptable British replied by bypassing the Baltic completely and opened a new trade route to Russia arctic ports via the North Cape instead.

When Sweden, as a result of the new route to Russia, attempted to take control of the northern coastal regions of Scandinavia it led to conflict with Russia and Denmark. This Gustav Vasa recognised to be a conflict he would have great difficulty in winning. He therefore directed his attention to dominating the Baltic by supremacy at sea in a policy of “dominum maris balticum”

At that time trade to St. Petersburg and the levies imposed upon it went mainly overland from Köningsburg via the Curonian Spit (see Lithuania) and Riga. Gustav Vasa therefore sought to subdue Liveland (mainly present day Latvia) and the harbours of Prussia. This he achieved thanks as much to a weak Russia as to Sweden being a well run state with an important weapons industry. By the middle of the century Sweden had reached the zenith of its power, its territory including present day Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania Minor, and parts of northern Germany

The final nail in the coffin of Swedish power was hammered in at the battle of Poltava in 1709 when a weak Swedish army was overrun by a much stronger Russian force. This was however not entirely negative, as Sweden was now reduced mainly to the area the country occupies today, with the exception of much of Finland which was retained, its borders were now much easier to defend.

The new reduced Sweden began a new period of reform. Gustav III introduced an absolute monarchy and thereby decreased the power of the nobles. He was shot and killed during a fancy dress ball in 1792. King Gustav IV Adolf then took the throne only to be dethroned after losing Finland to the Russians in a war, 1808-09. This also resulted in the establishment of a new constitution in which power was divided between the king, parliament and the judiciary. This constitution remained unchanged until 1974.

In 1818 Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, one of Napoleon's field marshals, was chosen to succeed king Karl XIII. As crown prince he waged war against Napoleon, with the support of Russia which led to an attack on Denmark. The attack was successful, and Denmark was forced to seed Norway to Sweden. Thus began of the union between Norway and Sweden, which lasted until 1905.

During the 19th century many liberal reforms took place in Sweden. Principal amongst these were the forming of a two-chamber parliament, the passing of the Elementary Education Act and an increase in religious freedom and women’s rights. By 1870, women were permitted to graduate from grammar schools!

Liberal reforms continued into the following century and due to political and economic development in the Nordic countries the development of the modern welfare state was made possible. Simultaneously Sweden transformed from an agrarian to an urbanised society. All was not positive however. The Union between Norway and Sweden was peacefully dissolved in 1905 although war between these brother countries was only narrowly averted.

At the outbreak of the First World War Sweden declared her neutrality although internally the country was split with many officers and public servants sympathising with Germany and the proletariat sympathising with the Allies. This situation was to repeat itself in the following World War.

The October Revolution in Russia shook Sweden by its roots. The World War and hard times in Sweden formed a breeding ground for discontent although this, fortunately, did not lead to revolution. It did however lead to more reforms after the Social Democratic Party won the 1917 General Election. Then king, opposing reforms, appointed prime ministers who formed governments that were also opposed to reforms. This resulted in the formation of a Liberal/Social Democratic coalition which implemented further constitutional reform, including that of universal suffrage.

At the outbreak of the Second World War, Sweden’s defences were in poor shape, due mainly to economic and other constraints imposed in 1925. Once again, Sweden sought to remain neutral throughout the conflict. In order to discourage any attack a massive re-arming plan was undertaken. The fact that Sweden was never attacked was probably simply because Germany never had to as the supplies of iron ore and ball bearings Germany needed were freely sold to her by Sweden. Also, Swedish railways transported German troops at their request. Sweden’s wartime policies have been and still are much criticised both at home and abroad.

There were however other more honourable actions by Swedes during the war. The Swedish Merchant Navy contributed to the Allied war effort by transporting necessary armaments and other goods under the direction of the Allies. A number of Swedes also volunteered for service in the Allied Armed services.

At the conclusion of hostilities, Sweden found its industry intact and ready to re-supply a devastated Europe. This resulted in an economic boom and lay the foundations of the rapid developments that took place in the welfare state during the 1950's and 60's. The boom-years drew to a close in the 1970's.


  • The Swedish Maritime Administration’s chart catalogue of Swedish navigational charts and publications
  • The Swedish company Eniro offers free charts covering Sweden and Norway through their app, available for iOS and Android. The free version requires an internet connection. An 18 euro upgrade gives offline access. The free charts are also available on their website.
  • Navionics have made all their charts available for free on their website. These charts include their crowdsourced Sonar Chart and high-resolution charts from Hydrographica covering for example Hallands Väderö. The major downside with this Navionics webapp is that your position is not shown on the chart.
Brtitish Admiralty
BA2115 - The Sound
BA2228 - Approaches to Arkhangel'sk
BA2252 - Gulf of Bothia
BA2360 - Falstero to Ölan
BA2816 - Balstic Sea — southetn sheet
BA2817 - Balstic Sea — nothetn sheet and Gulf of Finland
BA3671 - Tylö to Viken


Wind speed is expressed in metres per second (m/s) in Swedish forecasts.

Weather links

Weather observations

  • SMHI's Coastal observations
  • The Swedish Maritime Administration (Sjöfartsverket) has a particularly useful app called ViVA showing observations from their stations along the Swedish coast. The app is popular with Swedish sailors. It can be downloaded for free from App Store, Google Play and windowsphone.com.


List popular passages/routes, timing, etc.


The Swedish Maritime Administration publish a list of navigational warnings on their website.






Customs and Immigration




Follow this link to download the Leisureboat Entry and Exit Form, which is to be completed when entering or departing Sweden from/to a county outside the Schengen group of countries or when arriving/departing to another Schengen country if there are non-EU passportholders on board. Entry/Exit Form

Pleasure boats arriving from outside the Schengen Area MUST proceed to a boarder control point and file the form with the Police or Coast Guard. Under certain circumstances may a pleasure boat arriving from outside the Schengen Area proceed to a port other than a border control point provided the Coast Guard has given prior approval.

Health & Security


Submit any health warnings/information. Remove any of these sections do not apply to this particular country.



Public Authorities


With all its small fishing harbours, marinas and natural harbours in the archipelagos in the Baltic, North Sea and inland lakes Sweden has thousands of popular "stops". So many that it would be impossible to account for each and every one here. Listed below are some of the most frequently visited ports and harbours.

Key to symbols: |Island icon – island |Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |Anchorage icon – anchorage |Needs data icon – needs data ||
East Coast Gotland Gulf of Bothnia South Coast West Coast
Arkosund Arkosund /wiki/Arkosund Marina icon – marina |Needs data icon – needs data |
Kalmar Kalmar/wiki/Kalmar Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |
Stockholm Stockholm /wiki/Stockholm Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |
Vastervik Vastervik /wiki/Vastervik Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |
Oxelosund Oxelosund /wiki/Oxelosund Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |Needs data icon – needs data |
VisbyVisby/wiki/Visby_(Gotland) Harbour icon – harbour |Anchorage icon – anchorage |Needs data icon – needs data |
Ornskoldsvik Ornskoldsvik /wiki/Ornskoldsvik Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |
Simrishamn Simrishamn /wiki/Simrishamn Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |
Varberg Getteron Varberg Getteron /wiki/Varberg_Getteron Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |
Ystad Ystad /wiki/Ystad Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |
Goteborg Goteborg /wiki/Goteborg Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |
Helsingborg Helsingborg /wiki/Helsingborg Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |
MalmöMalmö/wiki/Malmo Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |
Marstrand Marstrand /wiki/Marstrand Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |
Key to symbols: |Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |Anchorage icon – anchorage |Needs data icon – needs data ||

Oxelosund is a useful port. Though not very scenic, with a large noisy factory dominating the waterfront, it has two marinas offering visitor's berths, as well as a boatyard able to do many types of repairs and maintenance. In town, there is a large supermarket, Systembolaget and various types of specialized shops. Entering from the south, both harbours relevant to yachts are on port. The first one is the original fishing harbour ("Fiskehamnen"), immediately after entering it, the guest harbour is on the starboard side. On the left are the private jetties of the local sailing club, straight on is the shipyard which caters to a mix of fishing and coast guard vessels as well as yachts. Its quay is on the port side past the sailing club. For the second marina, simply continue up the main channel past the fishing port, it is half a mile further also on port. It is a bit closer to town and has a fuel dock, but the shelter is not as good in strong SE winds.

Karlskrona: (Swedish chart # 821) Sweden's primary naval port, headquarters of the Swedish Coast Guard and world heritage site will certainly reward any visit. There are numerous natural and man-made harbours to choose between in Blekinge's archipelago but if visiting Karlskrona then there are two harbours to choose between:

Tallebryggan/wiki/Sweden#TallebrygganHarbour icon Tallebryggan [[Sweden#Tallebryggan|Tallebryggan]] 56°10.160'N, 015°35.547'E , is centraly situated on the main island upon which Karlskrona is built. The harbour tends to be lively and there is the adjacent main road into Karlskrona which can be perceived as disturbing. On the other hand, the harbour is large, well equipped and well kept. When going ashore one finds oneself on the island of Trossö with no more than five minutes walk to the centre of the city. Fuel and water is available and there is no draft restriction for pleasure boats as this used to be the terminal for ferries between Karlskrona and Gdynia in Poland

Dragsö Harbour/wiki/Sweden#Drags.C3.B6_HarbourHarbour icon Dragsö Harbour [[Sweden#Dragsö Harbour|Dragsö Harbour]] 56°10.400'N, 015°33.900'E , is a quieter alternative. This again is an extremely well-kept harbour with attractive grill/barbeque/braai places. The harbour is 3 km from the centre of karlskrona but, if you do not feel like a pleasant walk, cycles are available for hire. The maximum draft in Dragsö harbour is 2.5 metres.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs


Major airports:

  • Stockholm Arlanda (ARN IATA) is by far the country's largest airport, serving most major international and domestic airlines
  • Göteborg Landvetter (GOT IATA) - serves several international airlines and provides convenient bus transfer (about 20 minutes) to central Gothenburg
  • Copenhagen Airport (CPH IATA) - Located in Denmark on an island between Copenhagen and Malmö, this is Scandinavia's largest air hub, served by most major airlines
  • Direct rail line from the airport to southern Sweden allows it to serve most of the region conveniently
  • Oslo Airport, Gardermoen (OSL IATA) in Norway can be considered for destinations in western Sweden



List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)



Books, Guides, etc. Use the Reference template or not at your discretion. For example:

Rod Heikel, Greek Waters Pilot, Imray Laurie and Wilson, Cambridgeshire, ISBN 9780852889718, expands to
Rod Heikell, Greek Waters Pilot Imray, Laurie and Wilson, Cambridgeshire, ISBN 9780852889718
  • Author, Title, Publisher, ISBN ISBN number
  • Author, Title, Publisher, ISBN ISBN number

You may want to remove the above entries and use instead a link to the Country or Region that lists the relevant references. If so enter, after removing xx, the following:

See [[Country or Region#References_&_Publications|Coutry or Region]].

If you do not use the above link, please remove it.


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