A National Historic Landmark just got a brand new paint job and is looking better than ever. The S.S. Badger, which was built and launched in 1952, hasn't had an updated paint job in 40 years.

Credit: ssbadgerferry Via Instagram
Credit: ssbadgerferry Via Instagram

The S.S. Badger is the last coal-fired passenger steamship in operation in the United States. In 2016 The S.S. Badger received the nation’s highest historic honor when the Department of Interior officially designated the Badger as a National Historic Landmark.

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What Is The S.S. Badger Used For?

The S.S. Badger is a passenger and vehicle ferry that has been in service on Lake Michigan since 1953. Currently, the ship shuttles between Ludington, Michigan, and Manitowoc, Wisconsin, which is about 62 miles, connecting U.S. Highway 10 between those two cities.

Sara Spore, general manager of Lake Michigan Carferry which owns the Badger, told MLive:

The exterior of the moving historic landmark has been restored to its original glossy black, white, and red aesthetic


To repaint the S.S. Badger, first, all the old layers of paint had to be sandblasted off. This happened during its five-year dry dock at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

S.S. Badger Before The New Paint Job

S.S. Badger After The New Paint Job

After the S.S. Badger was sandblasted it took over 800 gallons of paint to restore it to its original glory.

What A Ride Is Like On The S.S. Badger

S.S. Badger Facts 

  • Length: 410 feet, 6 inches
  • Width: 59 feet, 6 inches
  • Height: 106 feet, 9 inches (7 stories)
  • Weight: 6650 tons displaced

Anchors: Two Stockless anchors weighing 7,000 pounds each

Amenities: Outside deck areas, two dining areas, private staterooms, upper deck lounge, aft end lounge, children's playroom, gift shop, museum, quiet areas, two free TV lounges, free movie lounge, and more!

Number of crew members on each trip: 50-60

Capacity: 600 passengers, 180 automobiles, tour buses, RVs, motorcycles, and commercial trucks

The number of crossings per season: Approx. 450

Years in service: Built and launched in 1952; began daily service on March 21, 1953

The S.S. Badger begins the 2022 season on May 12th, 2022, and runs through October 16th.

In 2022 overnight sailings will return from June 10th until September 5th.

Get more info about the S.S. Badger and book a reservation here

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