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S.S. Badger Lake Michigan Carferry

About the S.S. Badger Lake Michigan Carferry

More than just a reliable, affordable shortcut across beautiful Lake Michigan, the S.S. Badger Lake Michigan Carferry is the last coal-fired passenger steamship in operation in the United States and a symbol of a simpler time. The picturesque journey between Manitowoc, Wisconsin and Ludington, MI provides ample time to slow down, relax, and reconnect and provides a fun and unique way to travel.

The S.S. Badger isn't merely a mode of transportation for the four-hour cruise across the great lakes, it provides a legacy of fun from the famous Badger Bingo and shopping in the "Boatique" to kids activities like a scavenger hunt, coloring contest, movie theater, and museum! 

All dining and bar locations aboard the S.S. Badger feature items made with local Michigan and Wisconsin ingredients.

S.S. Badger Port City of Manitowoc, WI

Before boarding the S.S. Badger, you'll want to explore Manitowoc with its thriving, historic downtown, stunning parks and beaches, and vibrant public art scene. Take in a little history at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum and step aboard the USS Cobia World War II submarine or take in the rotating exhibits at the Rahr-West Art Museum. A few other highlights in Manitowoc include:

  1. Manitowoc Lincoln Park Zoo - A free family destination to get a glimpse of Asiatic Black Bears, Bison, and White Tailed Deer.
  2. Bernice the Big Cow - Manitowoc is home to Cedar Crest Ice Cream, so grab a cone and get your picture taken with Berenice!
  3. Beerntsen's Confectionary - Right in downtown you'll find this old-fashioned candy parlor known for its chocolate molding creations.
  4. Craft Beer - Head straight to the brewery for local brews from PetSkull Brewing, Sabbatical Brewing, and Craft Creek Brewing. 
  5. Dining - Right downtown you'll find a variety of culinary delights from The Wharf with live music and river views to the Waterfront Wine Bar for a leisurely meal and glass of wine right on the riverfront.

Photos Courtesy of Visit Manitowoc

S.S. Badger Port City of Ludington, MI

Destination Ludington, MI for the perfect combination of natural resources and quaint, small-town charm. Whether you're visiting for a couple of hours, a day, or want to spend the whole weekend, you'll find an adventure awaits you on the other side of Lake Michigan! When you arrive, browse the Waterfront Sculpture Park's nine bronze sculptures in this 5.3 acre walkable park and then check out our top five attractions to explore:

  1. Historic White Pine Village - This family-friendly historic site features a late 19th, early 20th century pioneer village with 30 exhibit buildings showcasing the rich lumbering and agricultural history of the area.
  2. Climb a Lighthouse - From Big Sable Point Lighthouse's black and white exterior that rises over one hundred feet tall to the North Breakwater Lighthouse located at the end of a half-mile walk down the pier and Little Sable Lighthouse, you'll definitely check this quintessential Michigan experience off your bucket list!
  3. 28 Miles of Sandy Shoreline - Enjoy endless summer days splashing in the waves, building sandcastles on the beach, or taking in a breathtaking sunset over Lake Michigan and explore Ludington State Park with 5,300 acres of scenic sand dunes, ponds, marshlands, and forests.
  4. Fishing - Ludington has more trout and salmon caught at its port annually than another other in Michigan!
  5. Pere Marquette Winery - Located at the head of the beautiful Buttersville Peninsula, a few miles South of Ludington, you'll get a glimpse behind the scenes and try their wines in the Tasting Room, a converted equestrian tack room.

Manitowoc Shoreline Cruise on the S.S. Badger

Enjoy the views with a fun atmosphere aboard the S.S. Badger with a Shoreline Cruise departing from the port in Manitowoc. While onboard, you are free to enjoy the gift shop, movie theater, bar service, museum, or lounge indoors or out. Your tickets include food and live entertainment with cash bar available. 2024 Cruises are just $58 per person with boarding at 1:30pm and the cruise of Manitowoc's shoreline from 2pm-4pm.

2024 Manitowoc Cruise Dates:

  1. Saturday, June 15th
  2. Saturday, July 20th
  3. Saturday, August 17th

Space is limited, so book early!

S.S. Badger Lake Michigan Carferry Schedule

Full Season (Currently Booking May 17th - October 6th, 2024)

Depart Manitowoc daily at 2pm (CT), Arrive Ludington 7pm (ET)

Depart Ludington daily at 9am (ET), Arrive Manitowoc 12n (CT)


2024 S.S. Badger Rates


  • Adults: $80.50 (Summer) / $70 (Spring/Fall)
  • Seniors: $73 (Summer) / $63.50 (Spring/Fall)
  • Active Military: $73 (Summer) / $66 (Spring/Fall)
  • Children (Ages 5-15): $39.50
  • Young Children (Ages 0-4): FREE


  • Autos: $96
  • SUV & Pickup Truck: $96
  • Auto w/ Trailer: Starting at $171. Additional fees based on length may apply.
  • Auto w/ Extension: $106
  • Motorcycle: $53
  • Motorcycle w/ Trailer: $80
  • Trike w/ Trailer: $80
  • RV/Motorhome: $10/foot
  • Pickup Camper or Sprinter Van: $108
  • U-Haul or Box Truck: $10/foot
  • Bicycle: $7

Staterooms $57 Each Way!
Staterooms are available and are a great place to catch a nap or have quiet time for young children. Ask for details while making your reservation.

Round Trip Mini-Cruises
Travel round trip without a vehicle returning within 48 hours and pay just $106 per adult and $60 per child ages 5-15. This offer cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. (Must call to receive this discount.)

Free Parking At Both Locations!

Group Tours on the S.S. Badger

Whether you're traveling with a group of 10 or a whole motorcoach, you'll have a memorable experience aboard the S.S. Badger! While aboard for the four-hour trip between Manitowoc, WI and Ludington, MI, your group will enjoy games, free movies, satellite television, shopping, or just lounging or taking in the beauty of Lake Michigan.

The S.S. Badger is 410-feet long and seven stories tall, so she can easily haul your motorcoach, busses, passenger vehicles, and more! The skilled crew will help you load the motorcoach so you can relax for the cruise and save miles and time while providing a unique experience for your tour group!

Groups aboard the S.S. Badger enjoy:

  • Specials rates for group meals
  • Driver and escort comps
  • Itinerary assistance
  • Host greeting

Contact S.S. Badger Lake Michigan Carferry

Just 37 minutes from Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan, WI.

Manitowoc, WI Dock

900 South Lakeview Drive | Manitowoc, WI

Ludington, MI Dock

701 Maritime Drive | Ludington, MI



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