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About Us

The S.S. Badger Ferry Facts

The S.S. Badger offers the largest cross-lake passenger service on the Great Lakes and an authentic steamship experience. The relaxing four-hour, 60-mile cruise takes passengers, autos, RVs, tour buses, motorcycles, bicycles, and commercial trucks across Lake Michigan between Ludington, Michigan and Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

a ship on the side of a boatDimensions:

  • Length: 410 feet, 6 inches
  • Width: 59 feet, 6 inches
  • Height: 106 feet, 9 inches (7 stories)
  • Weight: 6650 tons displaced

Amenities: Outside deck areas, two dining areas, private staterooms, upper deck lounge, aft end lounge, children’s playroom, gift shop, museum, quiet areas, two free TV lounges, free movie lounge, and more! Check out a complete list of amenities here.

Staterooms: 40

Propellers: Two cast steel, 4-blade propellers, 13′ 10” in diameter and weighing 13,800 pounds each

Anchors: Two Stockless anchors weighing 7,000 pounds each

Engines: Two Skinner Unaflow four-cylinder steam engines rated 3,500 horsepower at 125 RPM (total 7,000 horsepower). The Badger’s propulsion system burns domestic fuel and is designated as a mechanical engineering landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Boilers: Four Foster-Wheeler “D – type” coal-burning

Average speed: 18 miles per hour (15.6 knots)

Number of crew members on each trip: 50-60

Capacity: 600 passengers, 180 automobiles, tour buses, RVs, motorcycles, and commercial trucks

Number of crossings per season: Approx. 450

Years in service: Built and launched in 1952; began daily service on March 21, 1953 (For more on the history of the S.S. Badger and car ferry service on Lake Michigan, click here.)