Motorcycles Ride Lake Express Free During May-June
Motorcyclists living in southern Michigan or Wisconsin, as well as those planning to travel to the area during the months of May and June, might be interested in a discount being offered by the Lake Express Ferry. For those not familiar with the area, Lake Express is a high-speed auto/passenger ferry that transports passengers daily across the southern tip of Lake Michigan between Milwaukee, WI, and Muskegon, MI. Sailings take about 2-1/2 hours one way, allowing riders to cut their travel time between these two cities by 4-plus hours, completely bypassing the congested Chicago traffic altogether.
The Lake Express will operate from April 30th through October 31st this year; and for the months of May and June, motorcycles will ride for free, a savings of $38.00 per one-way crossing. That offer applies to standard two-wheeled motorcycles. Keep in mind, there is still a fee for each passenger. According to the Lake Express customer service operator we spoke with, that fee per person is $95.50, which includes the fuel surcharge and the port and security fee. While perhaps not the most frugal method of circumventing the southern tip of Lake Michigan, the approximate 28% discount being offered by Lake Express was certainly worth mentioning and most definitely will be appreciated by the many bikers who will no doubt take advantage of this savings during May and June.
Accustomed to transporting bikes, the Lake Express has space specifically designated so that riders can enjoy the crossing confident that their bike is safe and protected. There are tie-downs provided for riders to properly secure their bike to the vehicle deck, and there is an easy on-and-off "nature" to the ferry allowing riders to go ashore within moments of reaching port. There is a minimum of 12 available slots per departure set aside for motorcycles, but exceptions may be made for larger group bookings. Motorcyclists are asked to be at the ferry 45 minutes prior to departure; and for safety and security reasons, once the Lake Express is ready for departure, no one is allowed on the vehicle deck. There is an open deck available for those who want to enjoy the cruise outdoors. There is also a classic climate-controlled cabin and the L'Expresso Cafe with on-board dining and movies to keep you entertained for those who'd prefer to cruise indoors. For a slightly higher fee, you can opt to sit in the premier cabin where you will enjoy steward service, complimentary newspapers, non-alcoholic beverages, headsets for movies, and work-friendly table seating with electrical service for those traveling with their laptops. There is lots of good info on the Lake Express web site, such as attraction pages to check out for both Wisconsin and Michigan.
Wondering what's in the area specifically for bikers? Well, the Harley-Davidson Museum is located right there in Milwaukee. You'll want to check out the H-D Museum site for scheduled events that might be going on during your visit. For example, during May, there is a Women Riders Month Celebration in Milwaukee (May 22), and the First Rumble at the H-D Museum (May 27) scheduled. A little further north in Tomahawk, WI, is the Harley Davidson plant where you can schedule a behind-the-scenes plant tour. In Milwaukee, you may want to check out the upscale Iron Horse Hotel which caters to business travelers and motorcycle enthusiasts alike. Whether you book a room for the night or just want to drop by one of their restaurants or bars, the Iron Horse would be a fun aside visit for any biker visiting the Milwaukee area. Of course, there are lots of scenic routes through coastal and country back roads throughout southern Michigan and Wisconsin. Don't forget to check out the lodging map on BikerCamps.com. There are plenty of good motorcycle-friendly camping sites to choose from for those interested in camping.