About the Car Ferry
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.
- 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, deli-style snack bar, buffet-style dining area, private staterooms, upper deck lounge, aft end lounge, video arcade, children's playroom, gift shop/ship's store, free quiet room/museum, two free TV lounges, free movie lounge!
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.)