We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Lots of fun” 4 of 5 stars
Review of S.S. Badger: Lake Michigan Carferry

S.S. Badger: Lake Michigan Carferry
701 Maritime Drive, Ludington, MI 49431
Improve this listing
Ranked #2 of 28 things to do in Ludington
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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.
Oak Creek, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
156 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 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
Thank Christine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

601 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
32 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 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
1 Thank Melissa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mpls., MN
Level Contributor
76 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 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
1 Thank 6554321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kalamazoo, Michigan
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Travel on the Badger”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

Liked being able to take this shortcut across the lake. Had not been on the Badger in years. You could get breakfast or lunch, watch a movie or TV, or play bingo with the group gathered in the main deck area. There was even a quiet room/museum for those who did not care to be part of the crowd or look out on the water views. This time of year it was a little chilly and windy so you need to dress accordingly!

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Mary N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
186 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
“Pricey w/the car, but very cool piece of history”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

From watching the loading to seeing the small, but fascinating museum room aboard..this is a great adventure especially if you love history.
Yes, you can drive more cheaply, but for sure this is a must do at least once. LOTS of places to hang out and play bingo, watch movies or tv or sit outside and watch the lake go by or read a book.
The boarding/loading/unloading is well organized and the entire coal belching experience is just plain fun.

Visited August 2013
Thank clairann2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed S.S. Badger: Lake Michigan Carferry also viewed


Been to S.S. Badger: Lake Michigan Carferry? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing