Badger begins double sailings Sunday

May 24, 2013
File Photo: A wind turbine is unloaded at the Ludington dock.

File Photo: A wind turbine is unloaded at the Ludington dock.

LUDINGTON — The S.S. Badger will begin double sailings Sunday, two weeks earlier than originally scheduled. Terri Brown, director of marketing and media relations said the change is due to the high volume of wind turbine transportation from Wisconsin across Lake Michigan.

LMC initially stated the sailings would begin today, which we reported based on that information.

The Badger will now leave Ludington at 9 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. daily until September. The ship arrives in Manitowoc at noon Central Time and 11:30 p.m. Central Time, departing at 2 p.m. (CT) and 1 a.m. (CT). Brown said regular season customer service is available on all sailings.

Thursday’s morning sailing was cancelled due to potential high winds and high waves. However, the Badger made an unscheduled evening sailing Thursday, the second night in a row, to pick up wind turbines.

The carferry was originally built in 1953. It and its sister ship, the S.S. Spartan, which no longer sails, were the two largest carferries every built for the Great Lakes. At that time the emphasis was rail car transportation. When railroad transportation finally ended in the early 1990s, Lake Michigan Carferry put more emphasis on passenger and automobile transportation. In recent years, though, commercial traffic has increased. Commercial vehicles tend to use the Badger to avoid driving through Chicago. Ironically, that is the reason why the carferry services on Lake Michigan were first started in the late 1800s, so railroad traffic could avoid Chicago.

 

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