S.S. Badger: Lake Michigan Carferry, Ludington

4.5
#1 of 17 in Transportation in Michigan
Sail across Lake Michigan on S.S. Badger: Lake Michigan Carferry, which claims to be the only remaining coal-fired steamship in operation in the United States. The ferry has been in daily service since 1953 and is the largest car ferry to ever cross the lake. The leisurely four-hour trip takes you 96.6 km (60 miles) from Ludington, Michigan, to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and services cars, motorcycles, bicycles, tour buses, and commercial trucks. On board the ferry you'll have access to a dining area, snack bar, multiple lounges, arcade room, children's playroom, gift shop, and free movie lounge. Because the ship is decades old and without modern stabilizers, seasickness can be common, so come prepared with medicine if you're prone to motion sickness. Before you visit Ludington, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.
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S.S. Badger: Lake Michigan Carferry Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
1,047 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Unfortunately it was closed for the season, despite LOTS of travelers in the area for leaf-peeping (looking at the beautiful fall foliage). There was a nice man there working on maintenance on the fer...  more »
  • comfortable and scenic lake crossing. $3 New Glarus drafts!!! Several bars and food counters. An historic travel option!  more »
Google
  • A "must do once" trip. Experience the classic ferry built in the 1950's with the 60 mile trip across Lake Michigan. Plenty to do and eat while on board, or you can lounge back in a comfy theater seat and nap. If the weather cooperates, plenty of space on the upper decks to soak up the suns rays. Ship was dated, but very clean, and the crew were very friendly. Cost is the factor keeping it from a 5 star review. Not bad for a single and vehicle (148.00) but for a family of 5 with a vehicle, it gets pretty steep.
  • It was a great way to avoid driving through Chicago. The ferry ride was interesting. The staff was pleasant and it was great not to have to drive all the way. The arrival at the harbour was the most interesting bit. IF you are on a motorcycle REMEMBER you need to bring your own tie downs! We stop at Harbour Freight to get them before we boarded.

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