Lake Express Ferry
The spring schedule of the Lake Express through June 15 is limited to two crossings to Muskegon and two return trips daily. This also is the case during fall, Sept. 5 to Oct. 23. Peak season is during summer, June 16 to Sept. 4, when the Lake Express makes three sailings daily to Michigan and three return trips.
The popular “kids ride free” promotion returns this year, with children from 5-17 free during the summer schedule when accompanied by a paying adult. Children under five are free throughout the season. Motorcycles also ride free, when accompanied by their riders, during the spring and fall schedules. And there are special summer savings rates for the 7pm and 11pm crossings. For complete information on rates, specials and departures, visit Lake-Express.com.
Baseball fans say it starts when the Milwaukee Brewers open their season at Miller Park, but the first sign of summer for leisure and business travelers comes when the Lake Express High Speed Ferry begins crossing Lake Michigan.
Every year the Lake Express takes more than 100,000 travelers from Milwaukee to Muskegon, Michigan, and back again, cutting the one-way travel time to just 2 ½ hours. Travelers from every U.S. state and more than 50 countries have taken the shortcut to Milwaukee in the first 13 summers.
When launched by a private investment company in 2004, the Lake Express became the only high-speed ferry of its kind operating in the continental U.S.
For travelers during the 14th season, which began April 28, the onboard experience is even more enjoyable. Free Wi-Fi is being introduced via satellite in the premier cabin. An onboard navigation screen in the main cabin provides the location of the ship during the voyage, and identifies pleasure boats and freighters visible from the windows.
“We’re continuing to upgrade the Lake Express experience, providing passengers all the amenities possible, in addition to carrying their cars and motorcycles across the lake with them,” said Aaron Schultz, vice president of sales and marketing.
In addition to the new features, the Lake Express continues to provide onboard dining service, free movies and full-service Enterprise Rent-a-Car counters in both the Milwaukee and Muskegon terminals for passengers who choose to travel without their vehicles.
As a privately owned Milwaukee company, the Lake Express demonstrates that world-class innovation in mass transit can be achieved without government subsidy, notes Ken Szallai, who has served as president of the Lake Express since it was launched in 2004. “We’re committed to making the Lake Express the best travel experience available anywhere in the U.S.”
Harvey Bootsma (right), associate professor in the School of Freshwater Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, shows equipment on the Lake Express used to monitor the vital signs of one of the world’s largest bodies of fresh water.