Big Ship, More Fun!

SS Badger in harbor

Ludington is home to The SS Badger, one of the last in a line of car ferries that originally carried train cars across Lake Michigan to Wisconsin loaded with lumber and other freight headed west. Built in 1952, this coal-fired, steam-powered ship now carries some freight but also up to 600 passengers and their vehicles. The SS Badger makes approximately 450 Lake Michigan crossings each year between Ludington, Michigan and Manitowoc, Wisconsin.


Bob and I have taken this trip. We so enjoyed relaxing on the four-hour cruise rather than fighting through the Chicago-area traffic jams and road construction. We had time for reading, lounging on the deck, winning at Badger Bingo, browsing the museum and store, watching a movie and just watching the waves go by. For our trip we booked a couple nights at a B&B in Manitowoc. We explored the town, sampled a few restaurants, rented bikes and rode the Mariner’s Trail to the town of Two Rivers and of course we visited museums, the Wisconsin Maritime Museum at Manitowoc, the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum and the Rahr-West Art Museum.   Our’s was just a quicky trip to see how light we could pack and what we could do traveling on foot around Manitowoc. By looking at the Badger’s trip planning page and hearing the stories of our guests at the Ludington House, we know there is plenty to explore on both sides of Lake Michigan. The SS Badger is a great way to make that happen.


Try an Evening Shoreline Cruise

How about a big vacation cruise experience all in one evening? Take a two-hour, shoreline cruise on a big boat right here in Ludington! Be mesmerized by a Lake Michigan sunset and swayed by live music as you cruise along the Lake Michigan shoreline. The SS Badger will host four evening shoreline cruises this summer. Each will have a theme along with live music provided by local musicians. Food and beverages will also be available. Passengers will board a half-hour ahead of time and cruise from 9PM to 11PM near the Ludington shoreline.

Here’s the 2022 line-up:

June 18: “Lions vs Packers” theme

Entertainment by Joey Mankus

July 4: Patriotic Theme, watch fireworks from the ship

Entertainment by Joey Mankus

July 23: “Through the Decades” theme

Entertainment by Mike Lenich

Aug 13: “Bon Voyage to Summer” theme

Entertainment by Joey Mankus

The Ludington House is offering an exclusive package that includes a shoreline cruise with a two-night stay in one of our premium suites. Tickets are limited so book your stay soon!

Book June 17 & 18
Book August 12 & 13