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“I'll do it again.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of S.S. Badger: Lake Michigan Carferry

S.S. Badger: Lake Michigan Carferry
701 Maritime Drive, Ludington, MI 49431
1-800-841-4243
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Ranked #6 of 11 Attractions in Ludington
Type: Educational Sites, Ferries/ Boats, Public Transportation Systems, Outdoors
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Owner description: The S.S. Badger is the largest car ferry to ever sail Lake Michigan and has provided a safe, fun, and reliable shortcut across the inland sea for more than fifty years. The ferry takes passengers, autos, RVs, tour buses, motorcycles, bicycles, and commercial trucks across Lake Michigan between Ludington, Michigan and Manitowoc, Wisconsin from mid-May through mid-October.
Iola, Wisconsin, United States
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
365 helpful votes 365 helpful votes
“I'll do it again.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2013

We returned to Wisconsin on a beautiful sunny day. The ferry ride was a lot of fun and the four hours went fast. We sat on the main deck on the stern. Great open air ride. One word of advice, do not sit on the downwind side of the ship or you will get smoked out.

Visited September 2013
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350 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Pelican Lake, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Happy 60th Anniversary, Badger!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2013

The Badger is celebrating her 60th anniversary of sailing Lake Michigan, and we couldn't be happier. My family has been sailing on Badger since my parents took their honeymoon cruise on her 60 years ago. My husband and I sailed just the two of us this time. Todd Hansen kept us so entertained during Badger Bingo that we pulled into Ludington without having even walked the deck once. Todd is truly a treasure. This time we ate from the snack bar and the food was delicious. My turkey sandwich was very fresh and served on excellent bread. There was also a sketch artist/photographer/musician on board named Bill Richards who was just wonderful. I hope he sails on Badger again next year. The ship is kept very clean and all of the crew members are outstanding. When you first get on board, try to get a spot aft to see the huge wind tower parts being loaded. Do the same when docking to note how smoothly the captain pulls into port. There will be plenty of people waving from shore as Badger arrives, so be sure to wave back! This Big Ship (410' 6") is truly More Fun. FYI, my husband and I drove back to Wisconsin from Ludington so as to stop in Milwaukee. Never again! Bucking traffic, paying exorbitant tolls in Illinois, constant road construction--forget it. Get on board the Badger, relax, and have a good time.

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oak Creek, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
127 reviews 127 reviews
41 attraction reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“Lots of fun”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2013

This is a really fun ship. We did have a stateroom, which was very compact, but still offered a place to put our stuff and to get a little privacy when needed. The ship offered a lot of areas to check out, from the various places on the decks, both upper and lower, to a couple of snack bars, a TV area, a movie area, and a gift shop. There were many photo opportunities, especially at departure and arrival. I am so glad we finally tried this cruise. Everybody on the ship really seems to care about making it a good experience for the passengers. Now in its 60th year, I hope it gets many more, and we would do this again.

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Great experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2013

Every year we travel from Manitowoc to New York state to visit family. Every year a dread traveling through Chicago and surrounding area. This year we took the Carferry from manitowoc to Ludington, I will never torture myself again driving through Chicago.
The ferry was clean, the food was decent and the staff were wonderful. The trip took about four hours and a half hour on each end unloading. We then drove through Michigan and crossed the Canadian boarder entering New York through Niagra Falls. This is the only way to go you will not be disappointed.

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mpls., MN
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“past is present”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

I give the Badger 5 stars because it's the only coal fired steam powered ship in North America and that's a hoot. If you have to ask what's so cool about that, you wouldn't understand. It's a four hour trip, plus an hour for boarding and another 1/2 hour at least for unloading. It's fun to be out of sight of land for a mini ocean voyage. Yes, it's expensive. On a choppy day the ship rocks; if you're prone to seasickness, don't go. The buffet is only offered in the first hour or so of the four hour trip. It can't be described as anything special, but hearty fare at a reasonable price. The snack bar on the second deck is available through the trip and has some hot food. I love the deck and open air, but there are TV's and a movie room below. The lower deck lounge next to the snack bar offers a live host for bingo, games and jokes. As I said, I prefer the deck. The Badger is a viable transport for those who wish to avoid Chicago and put a little adventure in their trip. When docking, experienced passengers will go to the back deck early to watch the pilot and crew gently bring the ship into the dock, that alone is worth the trip.

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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