Port of Manitowoc

Lake Michigan Carferry

The S.S. Badger Lake Michigan Car Ferry Arrives in Manitowoc

The community gathered to hear the familiar sound of the S.S. Badger Car Ferry pulling into port from Ludington Michigan to begin the pandemic delayed sailing season. Despite a brisk wind and temperatures in the fifties, crowds were lined up from the dock to the Library on Quay Street to see an old friend come home.

The season normally begins the Friday before Memorial Day but was pushed back twice to legally adhere to health protocols. Tom Oswald rode his bicycle from Rockwood to welcome the Badger back, “It’s a great thing for the community.”

Mayor Justin Nickels was in attendance, “After everything we’ve been through and we’re still going through, it’s great to see some positives coming back to Manitowoc. The Badger has made a very valiant effort to still protect it’s  passengers so people feel safe going across. They’ve had to make some adjustments like the night sail had to be canceled. It’s always great to see the Badger come into the Manitowoc port for the season.”

Lake Michigan Car Ferry CEO Bob Manglitz was grateful to see all the people who came out to welcome the S.S. Badger back to Manitowoc, “The Mayor got a lot of people out to welcome us. When we came in they were lined up back and forth on the channel. It makes you feel good when you get here. To see all these people come out for us, really we’re very grateful for that.”

Jason Ring, Executive Director of the Manitowoc Area Visitors and Convention Bureau says the sight of the Badger makes him optimistic about the future, “There are people here from the community that are excited to welcome the Badger back. There are tourists that are planning their summer trips and this is the kick off to that summer trip. The great thing is, when the Badger pulls in there will be traffic getting off that is heading into our community and heading to the west. That gives me great optimism that travels are turning.”

The Badger will leave Ludington at 9 a.m. Eastern time and arrive in Manitowoc at noon Central.

The return trip departs Manitowoc at 2 p.m. Central and arrives back in Ludington at 7 p.m. Eastern. More than 2.5 million passengers have been served by the Badger.