Photo by Todd & Brad Reed Photography
Where to Watch the S.S. Badger in Port Ludington
After a mechanical failure of its ramping system in July of 2023, the Badger had to cancel rest of the 2023 sailing season. But it has since been announced that reservations for 2024 may now be made online for crossings starting on Friday, June 14th, 2024. Work to repair the dock continues, so earlier crossings in May and June may open up. Stay tuned for updates!
For more information, please visit ssbadger.com.
The S.S. Badger, the largest carferry to sail the Great Lakes, is Ludington’s most famous symbol and a fun passenger ship to take across Lake Michigan. When you hear the unmistakable sound of the ship’s whistle, you know it’s time to watch the arrival or departure of this wonderful cruise ship. Here are some prime “viewing” places.
While the kids enjoy the fun, safe playground at Waterfront Park, you can relax on a bench and have a front row seat as the carferry glides by. Pick up an ice cream cone ahead of time!
Ludington's North Breakwater Lighthouse Pier
This is the closest you’ll get to the carferry. Give yourself an extra ten minutes to walk out to the very end past the North Breakwater Lighthouse, and actually see the faces of the people enjoying their cross-lake trip.
Along the Channel Walkway
The entire area between the City Marina and the Coast Guard Station is a popular gathering place for people to watch the carferry and wave hello or goodbye to its passengers. Large, white boulders line the walk, beckoning children to climb, but be careful!
Stearns Park Beach
The large expanse of Stearns Park Beach gives you the longest view of the S.S. Badger. Watch as she sails into the horizon, and stay for the spectacular sunset over Lake Michigan.
From Local Businesses
Situated across from the city marina is Crown and Cork, formerly PM Steamers Restaurant. Have a drink or dinner out on their deck, and you’ve got the perfect combination.
The Ludington State Park
Hike out to the Lake Michigan Beach House within the Ludington State Park along the lakeshore, set your blanket on the sand and let the tranquility embrace you as the S.S. Badger sails into or out of her home port.
For more information on the S.S. Badger Carferry:
Ludington: 701 Maritime Drive, Ludington, Michigan 49431
Manitowoc: 900 South Lakeview Drive, Manitowoc, Wisconsin 54220
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More About the Lake Michigan Carferry...
The S.S. Badger car ferry has a long history and is the last remaining example of the Great Lakes rail/car ferry design.
Where’s the best place to watch the S.S. Badger arrive or depart Ludington? Here are great locations for viewing the Lake Michigan Carferry.
Enjoy a variety of shoreline cruises with various themes on the S.S. Badger Carferry in both Ludington and Manitowoc.
Traveling to Ludington on the Lake Michigan Carferry? Here are some helpful hints for your arrival into Port Ludington on the S. S. Badger.
The S.S. Badger Carferry is a fun and relaxing shortcut across Lake Michigan between Ludington, Michigan and Manitowoc, Wisconsin.