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“Relaxing ferry trip”

S.S. Badger: Lake Michigan Carferry
Ranked #2 of 30 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.
Thunder Bay
Level Contributor
22 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Relaxing ferry trip”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2013

We did not really know what to expect, and were only told over the phone to be with the car at the dock by 8 am. When we arrived, we were first met by a guard with a sniffer dog. A bit unnerving, but I guess "security first". Then we were met by the Badger staff, who told us to leave our car right there on the dock, with the key in the ignition, and the drivers side window rolled down. We did, a little reluctant at first, but then we saw a number of young guys (in uniform) running from the ferry, jumping in a car and driving it inside the ferry. I guess the loading process goes a lot faster and more efficient that way.
The (4 hour) trip itself was beautiful! And we especially liked the opportunity to chat with fellow passengers, while we enjoyed the scenery.
Once the ferry was moored on the other side, the young guys came in action again, and in no time the cars were parked back on solid ground, and we were on our way again.
To sum up: A great experience!

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank Frisian-Canadian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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721 reviews from our community

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English first
Hayward, Wisconsin, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“We love the Badger”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 14, 2013

Sailing aboard the Badger is truly a unique experience and although it's a little pricey, it's really fun. The staff is extremely friendly. When they load and unload the vehicles, it's something to watch. The trip across to Ludington was very late because of the semis, they take a LONG time to load and unload. That was the only downfall. When we sailed in September, we experienced extremely rough seas for the first time on the Badger. It was hard to stand up the boat was rocking so much and it was way too windy to even be on deck. We got a stateroom which was ok, not the most modern. Get your wi-fi access cards early, they run out quickly and they really need to upgrade that whole system. All in all though the Badger is a cool ship and I hope the EPA doesn't do her in. We have sailed on the Badger many many times and it's always fun. No matter how much it costs, it's better than driving thru Chicago.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank HaywardLN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A great alternative to driving around Lake Michigan!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2013

We spent the night in Ludington, MI before our morning crossing to Manitowoc, WI. There are valets who drive your car aboard, and you can leave your luggage and everything you don't want to carry on inside your car. The boat is fun to explore and there is a movie room (kid friendly movies), a TV lounge and a cafeteria-type place where they have family activities such as bingo and face painting, all making the 4 hour trip go by quickly. We would also recommend the ship museum in Manitowoc, with tours on a submarine there.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank Heidi B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auburn, California
Level Contributor
35 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great way to travel!”
5 of 5 bubbles 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
Helpful?
1 Thank lakelady57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Iola, Wisconsin, United States
Level Contributor
62 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“I'll do it again.”
5 of 5 bubbles 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
Helpful?
Thank Stephen V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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