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A Wonderful Adventure!

My wife and I sailed on the "SS Badger" with our car across Lake Michigan this spring. It was a... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Douglas R
Classic Lake Ferry is Easier to Book

It had been about 10-years since we last rode the S.S. Badger, so I was interested in seeing what... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
douglasl739
,
Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Reviewed 1 week ago

My wife and I sailed on the "SS Badger" with our car across Lake Michigan this spring. It was a truly wonderful experience to sail on this historic ship and enjoy a relaxing four hour mini-cruise across Lake Michigan. The crew was helpful and courteous, there were many very informative displays and exhibits on the ship, and they even provided very nice musical entertainment.

Thank Douglas R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

It had been about 10-years since we last rode the S.S. Badger, so I was interested in seeing what was different and what was the same. A big change is the ticketless, online signup and email communications. This is much easier than the paper-tickets and phone calls of days gone by.

What hasn't changed is the ship or the trip itself: a massive iron and steel structure that carries cars, trucks and bikes on two levels and passengers of all types in the rooms above. The SS Badger has a totally different feel than the plasticized cruise ships that many travelers are used to. As others have said, it's a step back in time.

We do not have accessibility problems, but wonder about those travelers who do have problems with stairs. You might want to check that out ahead of time. There are a lot of stairs throughout the ship.

Drive your car to the ferry boarding area at the end of James Street at least an hour ahead of time. Don't be late, the SS Badger leaves on time even if you don't. Fortunately, Ludington has a number of chain hotels along Ludington Ave, west of the city that are only 10-15 minutes away. Electronic pads have the names of all ticketed passengers as you move to the front of the line. An ID may be required for you and your passengers. Take what you need with you, because you will not have access to your car once the ferry is under way.

Once on board, you can settle in to comfy chairs for the crossing, dining room tables or sit on a deck chair on the back watching Michigan shore fade from view. Private cabins can also be reserved. There are games (bingo seems to be a big draw), movies, and food service along the way. Alcohol and non-alcohol drinks are available. Try the Bloody Mary bar. We did have WiFi access (a change). Cell phone coverage seems to be fine to. As we were watching the waves, a gentleman was having a long (20-minute plus) conversation with his office. We ended up asking him to move to a location away from those trying to de-compress from technology. He did oblige us.

We boarded in Ludington, MI, and crossed Lake Michigan to Manitowoc, WI, ideally a four-hour trip. We were very fortunate to have a quiet crossing that morning. We barely saw a white cap on the lake during the trip. When the weather is not as kind, and the Lake is choppy, the crossing will not as pleasant. Dramamine is an option for bad crossings. Once we arrived in Manitowoc, we claimed our car (this is on an honor system, I did not have to show any ID or proof of ownership) and were on our way.

Consider the ferry when you are trying to get from the east coast of Wisconsin to the Michigan' lower peninsula. It's much easier (and faster) than trying to go through Gary and Chicago or going up and over the Mackinac Bridge.

Thank douglasl739
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2018 via mobile

Everything from start to finish made this trip across Lake Michigan perfect. Car check in was a breeze. The breakfast buffet was reasonably priced and very good. The ship was clean and the restrooms exceptional. We played The Famous Badger Bingo and had so much fun! Drinks were also very reasonably priced! Can’t wait to go again!

Thank lgrable
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2018

I took a fall motorcycle tour and needed to get to southern Michigan from Minnesota. To avoid interstates and the whole Chicago mess I tried the Lake Michigan ferries. The SS Badger was a step back in time. Nothing like a four hour voyage to put the great lakes into perspective. I plan to make this trip again.

Thank Paul C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2018

Took 2 days and rode to Milwaukee and took the SS Badger across Lake michigan to Ludington. Stay at the Summers INN in Ludington. Had dinner in town. Fantastic trip.

Thank Kathy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2018

Took the carferry from Manitowac, WI to Ludington, MI. Little spendy, however it was very interesting to do. Lots to do on board, cards, bingo, movies, TV and 2 small cafes.

Thank Peter C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2018 via mobile

Fun ride. Sorry it was foggy! Would like to do again in clear weather. Plenty of things for the whole family to do.

Thank Carolcupid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2018

We were on a 10 day motorcycle trip, took the ferry from Michigan to Wisconsin to avoid the traffic in Chicago. We booked the trip ahead of time and staff were very helpful in telling us what to expect with loading and strapping down the motorcycle. Loading was very organized even though there was no power that morning at the dock because of storms the previous night. The trip was very smooth and relaxing, food was good. Unloading was very timely and the whole trip was very enjoyable.
Thanks S.S. Badger crew and staff for a pleasant experience.

Thank msjvmaan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2018

Their mini-cruises (without your car) are a great getaway and reasonably priced (be sure to check if your hotel offers shuttle service to/from the dock). Nice variety of reasonably priced food. Great entertainment options include free Badger Bingo and a movie lounge, or just enjoy the lake view from the deck. What's not to love?

Thank F7404VXrobertp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2018

We were very pleased with the process to reserve our ferry ride across Lake Michigan from Manitowoc WI to Ludington. When we got the to ferry lot we sped trough the check in and instructions to park the car for them to load later (you cannot get to your vehicle while on board). You cannot bring food on board but they had several choices for purchase (a bit expensive and mediocre). They had limited free WiFi that was not the very good. They had Bingo and Trivia to keep the time going fast that was fun to participate in. There was plenty of quiet spaces to read or do whatever you wanted.
The day we traveled was warm with a light breeze so very pleasant, I would recommend this any day vs. the option to drive through Chicago traffic.

Thank wmpj_224
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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