Company purchases S.S. Badger car ferry

Published: Jan. 1, 2021 at 10:12 AM CST
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MANITOWOC, Wis. (WBAY) - The S.S. Badger car ferry has a new owner.

Interlake Holding Company has announced the purchase of Lake Michigan Car Ferry Company and Pere Marquette Shipping Company. The acquisition includes the S.S. Badger and the Pere Marquette 41.

“This is an exciting day for us and we are thrilled to be welcoming new employees into our Interlake family, new vessel lines into our Great Lakes operations, and new customers and cargoes into our portfolio of business,” says Mark W. Barker, president of Interlake Holding.

The S.S. Badger car ferry transports travelers from Manitowoc, Wis., to Ludington, Mich., and back. It’s a four-hour, 60-mile trip across Lake Michigan.

The families who own Interlake Holding Company also own Seastreak, a fleet of passenger ferries in New York Harbor and other locations on the east coast.

“Car ferries in Ludington have been an icon and important economic driver for the community for more than 100 years. When the Badger ended service in November of 1990, many employees and local citizens believed that the era of car ferry service had ended. The rebirth of the Badger in 1992 marked a major milestone in maritime history on the Great Lakes. Now, 29 years later, another milestone has been achieved with the sale of the company to a highly qualified new owner who will extend the legacy of the Badger into the future for both port cities of Ludington and Manitowoc,” says LMC and Tug-Barge Executive Vice-President Don Clingan.

The S.S. Badger is a National Historic Landmark.

The S.S. Badger season resumes in May.

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