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“Great way to travel!”

S.S. Badger: Lake Michigan Carferry
Ranked #2 of 31 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.
Auburn, California
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great way to travel!”
Reviewed October 6, 2013

I've been taking the SS Badger across Lake Michigan twice a year for many years now. The staff is always helpful, pleasant and downright fun. Unlike the other cross-lake ferry the Badger rarely cancels due to bad weather. This is because it was originally built as a train car ferry and can handle rough crossing far better than other ships. She's also chock full of history - even has a small museum on board. There's also a movie room (they usually show one or two per crossing), a "quiet room", a gift shop, two television viewing areas, two options for food and a main lounge where you can enjoy Badger Bingo (don't knock it until you've tried it). So this ship has a LOT more going for it beyond being far better than driving through/around Chicago if you need to get across the lake.

Visited October 2013
1 Thank lakelady57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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781 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Iola, Wisconsin, United States
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“I'll do it again.”
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
Thank Stephen V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pelican Lake, Wisconsin
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Happy 60th Anniversary, Badger!”
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
1 Thank OnThatLake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oak Creek, Wisconsin
Level 6 Contributor
165 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Lots of fun”
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.
Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Great experience”
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.

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