Crossing Lake Michigan on the S.S. Badger Carferry

The S.S. Badger is the Largest Carferry on Lake Michigan

The 410′ S.S. Badger carries up to 620 passengers and 180 cars, tour buses, RVs, and semi-trucks. The four-hour, 60-mile cruise between Manitowoc, Wisconsin and Ludington, Michigan has all the comforts of home and more. Blending history with cruise ship amenities, the S.S. Badger is the fun and relaxing shortcut across Lake Michigan–a spring, summer and fall treat for the entire family.

Amenities on the S.S. Badger Carferry

Passengers will find spacious outside decks for walking or lounging, free movies and satellite TV, live entertainment, two restaurants, full cocktail service, shopping, and staterooms for relaxing or sleeping during the cruise. Activities for kids include a video arcade, coloring contests, and kids’ playroom. During the fall, passengers can sleep on the Badger in a stateroom while the ship is at the dock in Ludington, Michigan. A trip on the S.S. Badger carferry is a fun and very affordable mini-vacation for your entire family. No matter which way you are crossing the lake, there are restaurants and shops within walking distance of the dock. There are many lodging facilities in Ludington and Manitowoc to accommodate travelers passing through either port.

The S.S. Badger is Designated as the Continuance Route of Highway US-10

US-10 is an east–west United States highway formed in 1926. US-10 was one of the original long-haul highways which stretched from Detroit, Michigan, to Seattle, Washington, but then lost much of its length when new Interstate Highways were built in its right-of-way. Today, the eastern terminus of US-10 is in Bay City, Michigan, at its interchange with Interstate 75 (I-75) and the western terminus of US-10 is in West Fargo, North Dakota, at its interchange with I-94.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has designated the route traveled by the S.S. Badger across Lake Michigan as the official continuance route of US-10. Prior to this designation, Lake Michigan had separated US-10 in the port cities of Ludington, Michigan and Manitowoc, Wisconsin into two segments.Highway US-10 connects the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South Dakota by means of ferrying 60 miles across Lake Michigan. US-10 is one of only two United States highways utilizing a ferry service connection. The S.S. Badger plays a major role in providing connectivity of US-10 for travelers and commercial cargo in the upper Mid-West.

Visiting Port Ludington, Michigan

Ludington is a top vacation destination in Michigan…due to the miles of beautiful beaches, first class fishing and the Ludington State Park. The S.S. Badger docks just a few short blocks from Ludington’s vibrant downtown, filled with great shops, restaurants and galleries…or visit one of two historic lighthouses in Ludington.

Ludington has plenty of lodging facilities, from hotels/motels and resorts to charming bed & breakfasts. Any time of year, there’s a fun event happening in the area.

Visiting Port Manitowoc, Wisconsin

Manitowoc is a community of roughly 35,000 and rich in maritime history and is the lone Wisconsin port for the S.S. Badger carferry. Manitowoc was ranked #2 by Forbes Magazine for “Best Small Cities to Raise a Family.” The downtown area is within walking distance of the carferry port where you can shop, catch a movie or dine in one of the local restaurants. Enjoy a leisurely bike ride or hike on the Mariner’s Trail, a seven mile trail that runs along Lake Michigan. There are numerous other things to do in and around the Manitowoc area.

Offering Daily Lake Michigan Crossings & Special Cruises

The S.S. Badger carferry travels across Lake Michigan between Manitowoc, Wisconsin and Ludington, Michigan once daily during the spring and fall seasons. Once summer is underway, the Badger makes two round-trip crossings daily. During the overnight crossing, passengers can enjoy sleeping in a stateroom aboard the ship. Staterooms are available by reservation during each sailing. The number of staterooms is limited, so reserve early. If you don’t have the need to cross Lake Michigan, but still want to experience a cruise aboard the S.S. Badger, start small and take a Shoreline Cruise! Many fun excursions are planned throughout the sailing season, each one lasting two hours. It’s time to join in the festivities and celebrate this grand ship.

Congratulations to the S.S. Badger on its status as a National Historic Landmark! Click here to read more about the history of this great ship.

Contact Lake Michigan Carferry

Ludington: 701 Maritime Drive, Ludington, Michigan 49431
Manitowoc: 900 South Lakeview Drive, Manitowoc, Wisconsin 54220
(800) 841-4243