Business in Focus: Summer Cruising on the S.S. Badger
While traveling this summer to the west side of the nation, you may want to consider a very reliable and adventurous short cut. Since 1953, the S.S. Badger in Ludington has provided a water gateway to the Manitowoc Port in Wisconsin for railcars up until 1990. Now, it serves as a passenger and vehicle transport for those seeking a travel adventure across Lake Michigan.
“The S.S. Badger is sort of a trip back in time – to think of ourselves as sort of a nautical highway on people’s summer road trip,” said the ferry’s V.P., Pat McCarthy. “She has provided a fun, reliable, and affordable shortcut across beautiful Lake Michigan for more than 60 years and has transported millions of passengers since her re-birth in 1992”.
At one point, this ship was rescued from going to the junkyard, and now she is rescuing patrons from boredom this summer. Many of the ship’s amenities are back in service after being closed off due to the pandemic – including their famous Badger Bingo, ‘Boatique’, and shoreline cruises. Each event and activity has been modified to fit current COVID-19 health and safety regulations, and the crewmembers of the S.S. Badger are taking that extra step to keep its patrons safe.
“People traveling this year we’re gonna see some things that are different,” McCarthy explained. “We have reduced our capacity by 50%, and you will see our employees wearing masks. We have closed the upper deck cafe which serves a buffet-style breakfast and lunch that’s prohibited right now under the governor’s guidelines. We’ve also closed our kid’s play area, just because it’s such a high touch area”.
Many of their most popular summer day cruises are back. Pirates of Lake Michigan Party Cruise will take place on July 24, and will feature all things pirate – costumes, Caribbean music, & activities.
On August 14, their Bon Voyage to Summer Party Cruise marks the end of summer and celebrates with an evening of relaxing, good food, and drinks – with the backdrop of the sunset.
“We all deserve to do something, so I think if people include the Badger as part of their summer vacation travel plans – it’s just a good way to make memories and either start or end your trip”.
For a full list of up and coming events, click here.
Of course, the S.S. Badger still provides their basic one-way or round-trip ferry ride across Lake Michigan. Information about their ride schedule and fares can be found here.