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Ferry service: Extending the ride

January 05, 2014

Crossing In Style

Looking for a twist to your next road trip? Consider a ride across Lake Michigan.

You wouldn’t ride your bike, of course, but you wouldn’t be without it either. Ferry services allow you to board on one side of the lake, enjoy an hour or two on the open water, and then unload in a whole new region, ready to extend your adventure.

To find out more about ferry rides, we caught up with Terri Brown with the S.S. Badger. The S.S. Badger is a 410-foot long ferry—the largest car ferry on Lake Michigan—and has been providing service across the lake for six decades. A ride costs $69 per adult, plus $38 for the motorcycle.

“We transport thousands of motorcycles each year, and have earned a reputation for taking good care of the riders and their bikes,” Brown says. “We allow the riders to ride their own motorcycles on board and secure them. We ask that riders bring two tie downs per bike to secure their motorcycles.”

Brown says that the bikes are loaded and unloaded quickly. As for departures, try to be at the dock an hour prior to boarding.

If you need to store your stuff, Brown says that on the S.S. Badger, passengers are not permitted below deck, so gear is secure with your bike. You can hang out on the deck, or for swankier accommodations, rent a stateroom during the crossing. Other activities include bingo, movie lounges, satellite television, two dining options, a kid’s play area and a video arcade.

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