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“Makes History Fun!”

S.S. Badger: Lake Michigan Carferry
Ranked #3 of 33 things to do in Ludington
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
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.
Reviewed July 13, 2012

If you haven't sailed on the S.S. Badger, you are missing a trip back in time, but with a modern twist. We loved being on "Da Badger". There is plenty of entertainment on board, what with Badger Bingo, TV, a movie lounge, shopping in the "Boatique", enjoying a perfect cocktail, or a yummy meal. If you like to take it easy, there is a quiet room, the option of a stateroom, or just lounging on the deck watching the lake and sky. In this world of busy-busy and hurry-hurry, taking the Badger is much more relaxing than fighting traffic and hearing "are we there yet?" The staff could not be nicer and do everything they can to ensure smooth sailing. The most fun parts of the trip are hearing the giant whistle blow and watching the old gal being maneuvered into port while you wave to all the people who have gathered to on shore to welcome her home. The Badger is truly beloved by many. Get on board this Big Ship, and have More Fun! (FYI, I have lung issues and did not notice any smoke or dirt blowing on me while on deck.)

2  Thank OnThatLake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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774 - 778 of 850 reviews

Reviewed July 9, 2012

S.S. Badger is big enough to take semis and cars plus people. We get a stateroom which has 2 small beds and a bathroom. Always clean. You can walk around the boat and feels like you are on a real adventure.

2  Thank FullyHis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2012

I am giving it 4 stars for the unique adventure and the time it saved us for our trip. We took it from Michigan to Wisconsin and back again during the day both ways. Also, the lake was calm so we have a very easy uneventful trip. We did not get a stateroom and I didn't see what they looked like so I can't help there. They do serve food on the boat but we brought our own drinks and snacks in our bag so I can't say anything about the food.

The pros:
- relaxing and they do get the cars on and off quickly. It was amazing in that regard how quickly they can get through the process! They say to be there an hour ahead of time but I really don't think you have to unless you want a lounge chair up front. If I did it again, I would get there 1/2 hour early probably to waste less time sitting around.

- lots of areas on the boat so you didn't feel like it was very crowded.

- If you are traveling with kids, they show family friendly movies, play bingo and have a number of things to do during the trip plus the exploring of the boat.

- the water is absolutely beautiful - especially when you can't see Michigan or Wisconsin - it reminds you how truly beautiful Lake Michigan is and how wonderfully blue the water is

the cons -
- it is expensive but so would a flight and a rental car is how we rationalized it.
- there are areas on the boat that I thought smelled (but there were other areas that didn't so you just have to find a spot that you like)
- there are not super comfortable seats onboard but again, there are plenty of options from lounge chairs (hard to get so get there early if you want these), to booths, to airline like chairs by the TV's, to plastic chairs so you just have to find something or walk around
- the wifi onboard cannot run videos so be careful before purchasing and ask if what you are going to work on is able to be done at the connection speed they have - they will be honest with you and tell you if it won't work

Overall, it was fun and we had a very good experience. I would recommend trying it and we would do it again!

5  Thank 2kidstraveling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2012

Great experience. Never would imagine that many automobiles, motorcycles, trucks, etc....would be able to fit on the carferry. Didn't feel like a 4 hour trip!

Thank Emanmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2012

We were on the pier when the ferry began its arrival. We hurried to watch from the park. What and incredible site, this very large ship approaching, slowing and backing to the pier for its passengers to unload. It would have been a 5 star rating had we been on the ferry.

Thank Jeff M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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