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TDIFest 2016 Discussion about TDIFest 2016 on the Labour Day weekend (September 2-4, 2016) in Door County, Wisconsin.

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Old April 9th, 2016, 10:59   #1
VeeDubTDI
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Default Who is taking the SS Badger to TDIFest?

The SS Badger is the only coal-fired steam ship operating on the great lakes, and serves as a car ferry between Ludington, Michigan and Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The trip is approximately 4 hours and saves travelers from the east from having to go through Chicago.

http://www.ssbadger.com/

Fares: http://www.ssbadger.com/schedule-fares/





Here are a couple of great videos of the SS Badger in action...

Behind the scenes (including engine room controls): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhA5zctDScI

Captain Hobbs (RIP) bringing the Badger into Ludington: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJQDwGTF2Ls

Captain Curtis bringing the Badger into Manitowoc: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpwBTt5I-gw

So let's get some discussion going on this. I plan on taking the Badger on the way to Fest, and driving through the upper peninsula of Michigan on the way back home.

SS Badger Schedule:
Code:
Summer: June 05 - September 11

Depart Ludington	/ Arrive Manitowoc
8:30 AM (ET)	11:30 AM (CT)
8:30 PM (ET) **	11:30 PM (CT)

Depart Manitowoc / Arrive Ludington
1:30 PM (CT)	6:30 PM (ET)
1:00 AM (CT) ***	6:00 AM (ET)

Crossing time: 4 Hours
Ludington is Eastern Time (ET) | Manitowoc is Central Time (CT)
**No 8:30PM crossing on 6/11, 7/4, 9/3, 9/4
***No 1:00AM crossings on 6/12, 7/5, 9/4 or 9/5

10% discount
Applies to passenger and vehicle fares traveling one way or round trip using the 8:30 PM (ET) or the 1:00 AM (CT) departures. (Cannot be combined with any other discount program.)

Staterooms $49 each way!
Ask for details while making your reservation.

No hassles, no change fees!
If less than 7 days, you only forfeit a $25 deposit.
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Old April 9th, 2016, 12:06   #2
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I used the SS Badger both ways to/from the 2005 TDI Fest in Lake Mills, WI. It was an enjoyable experience!

Word to the wise - make your reservations early as I understand the SS Badger is fully booked for most sailings.
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Old April 9th, 2016, 21:29   #3
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Thinking of this really cool I am going on Thursday but I could go Wednesday
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Old April 10th, 2016, 03:11   #4
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We are seriously considering it. Looks like fun and a nice break from driving.
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Old April 11th, 2016, 18:05   #5
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If I read the fare correctly: 1 car + 2 adults = $177 one way?

And this saves how many miles driving? How much time does it take to drive that many miles thru Chicago?

Just wondering because I may be heading east after the TDIFest.
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Old April 12th, 2016, 06:40   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john.jackson9213 View Post
If I read the fare correctly: 1 car + 2 adults = $177 one way?

And this saves how many miles driving? How much time does it take to drive that many miles thru Chicago?

Just wondering because I may be heading east after the TDIFest.
For me, coming from DC, the Badger only saves 134.2 miles of driving. However, driving from Ludington, MI to Manitowoc, WI is 419 miles via the southern route and 519 miles via the northern route.

Time saving depends entirely on what time of day you're driving and where you're leaving from. At the end of the day, this is the only coal-fired steam ship operating in North America and it's designated as a historic landmark. Fares are expensive, but the Badger is a lot more than a boring old car ferry.
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Old April 12th, 2016, 09:18   #7
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It's not always the destination, it's the journey. Sometimes you just need to relax, sit back and enjoy the ride.

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Old April 12th, 2016, 17:19   #8
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Someone should contact them and see if we can arrange a TDIClub group discount...
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Old April 13th, 2016, 11:07   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1854sailor View Post
Someone should contact them and see if we can arrange a TDIClub group discount...
I was thinking that, but I thought it might be hard to get 15 people to agree on a particular crossing. That would be super cool though!

I have pretty much decided to just drive a northern route because I can't seem to work the boat into my schedule and it takes me away from a more scenic route.

I could be swayed if there were a big group meeting at the Luddington dock to look forward to? I guess the most logical time to meet would be the Friday at 7am eastern time (ET) to make sure we all get nicely lined up for the 8:30am (ET) departure which arrives in Manitowoc four hours later at 11:30am central time (CT) at which point we all start or engines and cruise directly to the The Lodge at Leathem Smith, Sturgeon Bay, WI‎ arriving around 1pm (CT) on the Friday.

That would be cool, but I am not volunteering to organize it! Like I said, I've decided to drive the scenic route, but I could be swayed. I could always take the scenic route on the way back... decisions!
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Old April 13th, 2016, 11:44   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NarfBLAST View Post
I was thinking that, but I thought it might be hard to get 15 people to agree on a particular crossing. That would be super cool though!

I have pretty much decided to just drive a northern route because I can't seem to work the boat into my schedule and it takes me away from a more scenic route.

I could be swayed if there were a big group meeting at the Luddington dock to look forward to? I guess the most logical time to meet would be the Friday at 7am eastern time (ET) to make sure we all get nicely lined up for the 8:30am (ET) departure which arrives in Manitowoc four hours later at 11:30am central time (CT) at which point we all start or engines and cruise directly to the The Lodge at Leathem Smith, Sturgeon Bay, WI‎ arriving around 1pm (CT) on the Friday.

That would be cool, but I am not volunteering to organize it! Like I said, I've decided to drive the scenic route, but I could be swayed. I could always take the scenic route on the way back... decisions!
Your suggestion of the Friday morning crossing is good, although I'll probably be arriving on Wednesday or Thursday, so I'll miss out on a group ferry ride. Just be aware that hotel check-in starts at 3pm, and event check-in starts at 5pm. Fortunately, there is plenty to do in town, so you won't be bored.

If enough people are interested in a Friday morning crossing, I'll see if I can get a group discount setup. That said, for anyone interested in that, please post here soon so that we can get things rolling.
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Old April 13th, 2016, 12:21   #11
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I just called the reservations department to discuss group pricing. Currently, it is as follows...

10 people or more
Cars: $59 each
Adult: $52.80 each
Senior: $49.60 each

If we get closer to 60 people, we can negotiate a lower rate with them. Since the amount saved is only $6.20 per person for adults, I don't think the logistical effort for TDIFest staff to organize a single-purchase group ticket is worth it. If someone else has the time and is willing to tackle this, that's fine, and we'll work with you to help make it happen.
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Old April 13th, 2016, 20:29   #12
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The 60 person+ rate is mainly for a tour bus. Not 30 cars.
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Old April 14th, 2016, 12:29   #13
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The 60 person+ rate is mainly for a tour bus. Not 30 cars.
Correct. I asked about that, and as it was explained to me by the nice lady on the phone, they don't offer group discounts for vehicles, and they would still be looking for that total number of people (or close to it), even though we wouldn't be arriving on a tour bus. She indicated that 50 people would be a point at which they start considering the tour group rate if we were to drive our own vehicles.

I'm certainly willing to have that conversation with them, but I need an indication from Fest attendees that we will actually have close to that many people interested in the Friday morning crossing.
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Old April 14th, 2016, 15:32   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeeDubTDI View Post
I just called the reservations department to discuss group pricing. Currently, it is as follows...

10 people or more
Cars: $59 each
Adult: $52.80 each
Senior: $49.60 each

If we get closer to 60 people, we can negotiate a lower rate with them. Since the amount saved is only $6.20 per person for adults, I don't think the logistical effort for TDIFest staff to organize a single-purchase group ticket is worth it. If someone else has the time and is willing to tackle this, that's fine, and we'll work with you to help make it happen.
Does the "Car" include the driver and the passengers are extra?
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Old April 14th, 2016, 17:35   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1854sailor View Post
Does the "Car" include the driver and the passengers are extra?
The car is just the car. Unless your hiding in the trunk. Anybody who walks the deck is a passenger.
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