Iconic Michigan Car Ferry SS Badger Dry Docked in Wisconsin for the Winter [Video]
See video of the Badger coming into harbor for some restorative work to be done over the winter. The only one of its kind car ferry will re-launch in the spring.
We're so used to seeing it in Ludington that we like to think of it as ours, but the Lake Michigan car ferry is named after the University of Wisconsin mascot. From May to October, the SS Badger ferries passengers and vehicles across Lake Michigan between Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and Ludington, Michigan.
A kind of mobile extension of highway 10 over the lake, the 410-foot vessel can transport 600 passengers and 180 vehicles the 63 miles in about four hours. The SS Badger truly is one of a kind. The iconic ship is the last coal-fired passenger steamship in operation in the United States, and is, in fact, a registered historical site in two states.
This final voyage of 2021 took much longer than usual, as two tugboats did the work, taking about 12 hours to tow the Badger across Lake Michigan to Dorr County, Wisconsin. In dry dock for the winter, the vessel will undergo a mandatory inspection and get a new paint job. Ludington Daily News assures us "the Badger will retain its traditional black and white with red and white stripes."
The SS Badger will be back in the freshwater seas of the Great Lakes in the spring of 2022, ready for another season of work ferrying travelers, cargo, and vehicles across the big lake. The ship is now booking special romantic overnight sailings from June 10th to September 5th.