The S.S. Badger Lake Michigan Car Ferry will make its 2023 Maiden Voyage from Ludington, Michigan to Manitowoc, officially kicking off the milestone 70th anniversary sailing season on Thursday, May 18, and the public is welcome to attend the celebratory event. 

The 410-foot S.S. Badger will arrive in Manitowoc around noon and the community is invited to join hundreds in the festive welcome at the Car Ferry dock located at 900 S. Lakeview Drive. Event attendees will be treated to the musical talents of the Lincoln High School band while waiting for the boat’s arrival and have the opportunity to meet alpacas from LondonDairy Alpacas. Following the BADGER’s docking, there will be a brief presentation to mark the 70th anniversary season. Speakers include Mayor Justin Nickels, BADGER leadership and Wisconsin Department of Administration Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld, who will read and present a gubernatorial commendation for the BADGER.

While at the event, the public is also welcome to stop into the Car Ferry ticket office to see the second phase of renovations that the City of Manitowoc completed during the winter. These updates include flooring and a bathroom remodel, completed to continue efforts to provide the best possible amenities to welcome Manitowoc’s visitors.

The S.S. Badger will continue to operate daily from May 18th through October 9th. In addition to the sailings between Ludington and Manitowoc, this year there are three Manitowoc shoreline cruise dates scheduled along our lakefront – in the afternoon on Saturday, June 17th, July 22nd, and August 12th. For more information, schedules, and to purchase tickets, visit