Sailing Lake Michigan on the SS Badger
Manitowoc, Wisconsin to Ludington, Michigan
We were so excited and a little nervous to catch a ride on the SS Badger across Lake Michigan. As the last operating coal-fired passenger/car ferry steam ship in the U.S., the Badger is a part of history. Every part of this experience was just AMAZING! We loved learning all about the ship and how it works. Watching the crew load the cars, trucks and trailers into the belly of the ship was fascinating. I’m not going to lie, it was a little nerve racking watching them back our HOME onto the ship. (You are not allowed to park your own vehicles, and must leave them in the loading line for the crew to park.)
Also, dogs are not allowed in the passenger areas on the ship, so Rory and Pippa had to make the voyage inside the camper. We opened a few windows for them, made a cozy spot with their beds, and they seemed to do just fine. They were very excited to see us when we finally arrived in Michigan!
During our cruise, we met some of the nicest people on board, including the crew. The kids had a blast doing a ship-wide scavenger hunt, and they all scored some great prizes playing Badger Bingo!
It took us about 4 hours to make the 60 miles across Lake Michigan. When we pulled into the harbor, passing the leaning Ludington lighthouse, the waters were full of fisherman in little boats reeling in huge salmon. As the sun was making its way towards the water, we disembarked the Badger and carried on with our journey.
In all, it was just a phenomenal experience and day! We absolutely recommend taking a ride on the S.S. Badger!