Lake Michigan Ferry Choices

Why go on a Lake Michigan ferry ride? Leaving Michigan may not be what you had in mind when you came, but it actually can make for a lot of fun on your visit to the state.

Lake Michigan features two ferries that will take you on a wonderful cruise across the lake. These ferries offer more than just a ride, so they are well worth considering when planning your trip to Michigan.


Lake Express

Your first Lake Michigan ferry option is Lake Express. Lake Express starts operating on June 1, 2004 and runs between Michigan and Wisconsin. It takes just two and a half hours for the crossing. Lake Express offers spacious seating areas and a relaxed atmosphere.

The schedule is quite flexible, starting in the early spring with twice daily trips. The schedule expands to three daily trips in late spring throughout the summer. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone or on location. Lake Express holds 46 vehicles and 12 motorcycles. There are rental cars available through Hertz at each terminal. Terminals are located in Muskegon and Milwaukee.

Lake Express offers guests different travel options. Cabin seating in general seating that includes table seating, climate controlled cabin and access to the outdoor decks. There is also movies provided and on board dining options from the L'Expresso Cafe. Premier cabin seating is comparable to business class flight accommodations. Passengers get steward service, table seating and electric.

S.S. Badger

The S.S. Badger is your other ferry option. This Lake Michigan ferry is full of history. It has been on the Great Lakes since the 1950's. The trip on the S.S. Badger takes 4 hours and covers 60 miles. It runs from Ludington to Manitowoc. This historic ferry features outside deck areas, a deli snack bar, buffet dining, private staterooms, an upper deck lounge, a video arcade, a playroom for children, a gift shop, a museum, TV lounges and a movie lounge. The S.S. Badger can hold 620 passengers, 180 motor vehicles, including buses, RVs, motorcycles and commercial trucks. The S.S. Badger runs once daily with trips from Michigan to Wisconsin and then back. Most ticket prices are for one way trips.


Making the Choice

You may wonder how to choose between the two different ferries. If you are in a hurry to get from Michigan to Wisconsin then the Lake Express is your best option. However, if you are up for a leisurely trip then he S.S. Badger is perfect.

If you want just a ferry ride and are not looking for a ferry experience then the Lake Express will work. The S.S. Badger offers an amazing experience for those who want this to be part of their vacation or who want something more from their ferry ride. The S.S. Badger has a nice history. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and is the only coal steamship still active in North America.

Both offer many different ticket options and discounts. You can usually find a ferry trip that suits your budget. Either choice is a good one. Both ferries are well managed, equipped and safe. It all depends on the type of experience you want.


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