SS Badger Blog

The BADGER’s distinctive and ever-changing smokestack logos traced the ship’s service history, marking the high and low points throughout her 70-year history. Originally built for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, the BADGER has stood the test of time as she has experienced changes in the industry and ownership. Ludington, Michigan was formed as a lumbering town, which brought the railroad, thus bringing the Carferries. In the 1930’s Ludington was the largest Carferry port in the world, being home to 9 different ferries. The sizable operation for decades provided residents from Ludington and the surrounding region, including Wisconsin, with family-sustaining employment and a crucial element to the economies of the port cities serviced by the ferries.
When Amanda and Andy met online in Spring 2017, it was a match made in heaven. They only had one problem; they were separated by Lake Michigan. Amanda is originally from the White Lake Area of West Michigan, about 30 minutes south of Ludington and Andy’s hometown is Manitowoc. A large portion of the early days of their relationship consisted of sailing across on the BADGER to be together and now a big part of traveling to see family.
It all started with a woman with a vision, that now impacts a large part of her family. Many employees who work onboard the BADGER will tell you that coming to work is like coming “home” to family. For the Poort Family, they work onboard in various departments and consider other members of the crew and their respective departments to be part of their extended family. Steve (dad), Tonia (mom) and Luke (son) all found themselves working onboard the BADGER in 2022 and it was not planned.
Sailing on the BADGER is a unique experience that you won't find just anywhere else! We know that passengers enjoy sailing for multiple reasons and we take pride in connecting them to their destinations. Here are just ten reasons why you should consider sailing on the BADGER.
Ready for a mini adventure? Or need a quick vacation? Consider doing a Mini Cruise onboard the BADGER. If you are traveling without a vehicle and depart and return on the BADGER within a 48-hour time frame, you would qualify for the 48-Hour Mini Cruise Special.
Over the years, the BADGER has benefited from having K9 search dogs who serve to keep everyone safe. Our current dogs, Mika and Dara, have served for 7 and 6 years respectively, and this year we are excited to introduce our two newest K-9 team members, Hans and Greta. Along with their handlers, Dean, Chuck, Steve, and Ian, they make a dynamic team.
In her almost 70 years of service, the BADGER is well accustomed to carrying a variety of vehicles of all sizes. One great way to see the world is by bicycle and passengers are enjoying taking a lake break to connect them to more trails.
The BADGER safely transports thousands of passengers, cargo and much more across Lake Michigan every season. Per US Coast Guard regulations, all maritime vessels are required to be inspected every five years to make sure they are in good shape.
The SS BADGER has been a Legacy on the Lake Since 1953 – let us help you create your family memories today! Plan your road trip, family reunion, group trip, work retreat, or more onboard the BADGER. Considering taking a Loop Tour around Lake Michigan like the Benesh Family did via the SS BADGER.
The SS BADGER has helped connect passengers for almost 70 years for a variety of reasons. For the first time in history, she has connected the greater Ludington and Manitowoc communities for inaugural displays of sportsmanship.
We are proud to call Ludington our home port since 1953. A beautiful town on the shores of Lake Michigan, Ludington is the perfect destination. Beautiful beaches, dining, shopping, fun places to stay, outdoor activities, and much more! Something for everyone and fun for the entire family.
If you are looking for a nice getaway in a quaint coastal town, look no further than Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Walking along 8th and 10th Streets and beyond, you will find multiple fun and unique stores, restaurants, cafes, and everything in between. With so much to see and do, Manitowoc is a destination worth visiting.
The SS BADGER has been a Legacy on the Lake Since 1953. Her Legacy includes a rich maritime presence on Lake Michigan but also includes a wonderful Legacy of those who have served aboard her. One of the many Legacies being that of Captain Bruce Masse, who served from 1955 to 2000. From Dishwasher to Captain, his Legacy still remains aboard the SS BADGER, four generations later.
When you ride the SS BADGER, there is something for everyone. When you come on board you take a step back in time, while enjoying some modern amenities. One of the most popular activities to do onboard is to play a game of Famous Badger Bingo! With a four-hour trip across the Lake, you’ll have plenty of time to play a game, or two, or all.
The S.S. Badger is the perfect way to explore fall! Enjoy the autumn sights in the shoreline towns of Ludington and Manitowoc, or turn your trip into a longer excursion. Either way, fall’s natural display plus seasonal events abound.
Sailing aboard the S.S. Badger isn’t just about convenience — it can help you create a memorable Lake Michigan loop tour vacation.