If you love riding ferries and want to go on the longest ride possible, you’ll want to know which ferry crossing holds the record for the longest distance. In short, the longest ferry ride in the world is the Lake Michigan crossing between Ludington, Michigan and Manitowoc, Wisconsin operated by the S.S. Badger ferry.

This article dives into the details of the longest ferry routes worldwide. We’ll look at the Lake Michigan crossing as well as other contenders like routes in Norway, Turkey, and Russia. You’ll learn ferry ride lengths, routes, and key facts.

We’ll also overview different types of ferries and what makes a ferry ride unique compared to other modes of transportation.

The Longest Ferry Route: Ludington, MI to Manitowoc, WI

Route Facts

The Ludington, MI to Manitowoc, WI ferry route is considered the longest ferry ride in the world. Spanning approximately 62 miles (100 kilometers) across Lake Michigan, this route offers a unique and scenic journey for travelers.

The ferry ride takes about 4 hours to complete, providing passengers with ample time to relax and enjoy the stunning views of the lake.

History of the S.S. Badger Ferry

The Ludington, MI to Manitowoc, WI ferry route is operated by the historic S.S. Badger ferry. The S.S. Badger has a rich history dating back to its maiden voyage in 1953. Originally designed as a car ferry to transport railroad cars across Lake Michigan, the S.S. Badger now serves as a passenger and vehicle ferry.

Over the years, the S.S. Badger has become an iconic symbol of the Great Lakes region. It is the last coal-fired passenger steamship operating in the United States and has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

The ferry offers a unique and nostalgic experience for travelers, allowing them to step back in time and appreciate the historic significance of this vessel.

Why the Route is So Long

The Ludington, MI to Manitowoc, WI ferry route is longer than most due to the geographical location of the two cities. Located on opposite sides of Lake Michigan, the ferry has to navigate the entire width of the lake to make the journey.

This results in a longer route compared to other ferry rides that operate in more geographically compact areas.

Despite the longer distance, the Ludington to Manitowoc ferry route offers a unique and enjoyable travel experience. Passengers can enjoy onboard amenities such as restaurants, lounges, and observation decks, making the journey comfortable and entertaining.

If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind ferry ride that offers breathtaking views and a touch of history, the Ludington, MI to Manitowoc, WI ferry route is an excellent choice. Don’t miss the opportunity to embark on the longest ferry ride in the world and create lasting memories!

Other Notably Long Ferry Routes Worldwide

Bergen, Norway to Kirkenes, Norway

One of the longest ferry rides in the world is the route from Bergen, Norway to Kirkenes, Norway. This journey takes you along the stunning Norwegian coastline and spans over 1,500 miles. As you sail through the picturesque fjords, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains, cascading waterfalls, and charming coastal towns.

The entire journey takes approximately 7 days, allowing passengers to truly immerse themselves in the beauty of Norway. For more information on this ferry route, you can visit Hurtigruten, the company that operates this scenic voyage.

Istanbul, Turkey to Odessa, Ukraine

Another notable long-distance ferry route is the journey from Istanbul, Turkey to Odessa, Ukraine. This route takes you across the Black Sea, covering a distance of approximately 300 miles. The ferry ride offers a unique opportunity to explore two culturally rich destinations while enjoying the scenic beauty of the Black Sea.

Passengers can relax on the deck, soak up the sun, and enjoy the onboard amenities during this memorable voyage. To learn more about this ferry route, you can visit Ukrferry, the company that operates this route.

Vanino, Russia to Kholmsk, Russia

For those seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure, the ferry route from Vanino, Russia to Kholmsk, Russia might be just the ticket. This route takes you through the Sea of Okhotsk, covering a distance of around 400 miles.

As you sail through this remote area, you’ll have the opportunity to witness stunning natural landscapes and encounter unique wildlife. The journey typically takes about 20 hours, giving passengers ample time to relax and enjoy the scenery.

To find out more about this ferry route, you can visit Ferrygid, a website that provides information on ferry travel in Russia.

Additional Long Distance Ferries

Aside from the aforementioned ferry routes, there are several other long-distance ferry journeys worth mentioning. For example, the ferry ride from Stockholm, Sweden to Helsinki, Finland spans approximately 250 miles and offers a convenient way to travel between these two vibrant cities.

Another notable ferry route is the journey from Athens, Greece to Crete, which covers a distance of around 160 miles. These ferry rides not only provide a means of transportation but also offer a unique and enjoyable travel experience.

So, whether you’re a tourist looking to explore new destinations or a local wanting to embark on an unforgettable journey, these long-distance ferry routes are sure to leave you with lasting memories.

What Makes Ferry Rides Unique?

Ferry rides offer a unique and enjoyable way to travel, combining the convenience of transportation with the beauty and relaxation of a scenic journey. Here are a few reasons why ferry rides are so special:

Scenic Views

One of the biggest draws of ferry rides is the breathtaking scenery that passengers get to enjoy throughout the journey. Whether it’s crossing a picturesque lake, river, or even the ocean, ferry rides provide an opportunity to take in stunning views that are often inaccessible by other means of transportation.

From rolling hills and majestic mountains to sparkling blue waters and vibrant sunsets, ferry rides allow passengers to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of their surroundings.

Avoiding Traffic

Another advantage of ferry rides is the ability to avoid the frustration of being stuck in traffic. Instead of sitting in a long line of cars, buses, or trains, passengers can relax onboard a ferry and use their travel time more productively.

Whether it’s catching up on work, reading a book, or simply enjoying the onboard amenities, ferry rides offer a stress-free alternative to navigating congested roadways.

Transportation Flexibility

Ferry rides also provide a level of transportation flexibility that is not always possible with other modes of travel. With multiple departure times and routes to choose from, passengers have the freedom to plan their journeys according to their own schedules.

This flexibility is particularly beneficial for travelers who want to explore multiple destinations or who have varying departure and arrival points.

Future of Long Distance Ferries

Technology Improvements

The future of long distance ferries looks promising, thanks to continuous advancements in technology. Ferry companies are constantly exploring ways to enhance the passenger experience and improve efficiency. One key area of development is the use of alternative fuels and propulsion systems.

Electric and hybrid ferries are becoming more common, reducing emissions and minimizing the environmental impact. These innovative vessels not only provide a greener option for long distance travel, but also offer a smoother and quieter ride for passengers.

Another exciting advancement is the integration of smart technology on board. Passengers can now expect to find amenities such as high-speed Wi-Fi, charging ports for electronic devices, and interactive entertainment systems.

These modern features enhance the overall travel experience and make long distance ferry rides more enjoyable and convenient.

Increasing Tourism

Long distance ferry rides are also expected to benefit from the growing tourism industry. As more people seek unique travel experiences, ferry companies are expanding their routes and services to cater to this demand.

This opens up opportunities for travelers to explore new destinations and enjoy scenic journeys that cannot be replicated by other modes of transportation.

For example, the longest ferry ride in the world, which is currently between Tórshavn, Faroe Islands and Seyðisfjörður, Iceland, offers stunning views of rugged landscapes and pristine natural beauty.

Such routes are attracting adventure-seeking tourists who want to immerse themselves in the awe-inspiring surroundings. As tourism continues to flourish, long distance ferry rides are likely to become increasingly popular as a unique and memorable way to travel.

Environmental Sustainability

With growing concerns over climate change and environmental sustainability, the future of long distance ferries will undoubtedly focus on reducing their carbon footprint. Ferry companies are investing in eco-friendly initiatives to minimize their impact on the environment.

One example is the use of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power to supplement traditional propulsion systems. This not only reduces emissions but also lowers operational costs in the long run.

Additionally, ferry operators are implementing waste management systems to ensure proper disposal and recycling of materials, further contributing to a greener future.

By adopting sustainable practices, long distance ferries can become a more attractive and responsible choice for travelers who prioritize eco-friendly travel options. This shift towards environmental sustainability not only benefits the planet but also enhances the overall reputation and competitiveness of ferry companies in the tourism industry.


When it comes to the longest ferry ride in the world, the Lake Michigan crossing between Ludington and Manitowoc clocks in at over 100 miles, holding the record for longest distance. Ferries provide unique travel experiences and avoid traffic, and long routes allow you to relax and enjoy scenic views.

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