From 1972 to 2022, Watermark has immersed people in the history, culture, and fun of the Chesapeake Bay area and hopes to do so for another 50 years!
Watermark, originally Chesapeake Marine Tours, was founded by the late C. Edward Hartman II. An attorney by trade, Hartman had a love of boating and a desire to invest in the local community. Chesapeake Marine Tours began in 1972 by offering a single sightseeing cruise to St. Michaels. That Day on the Bay cruise is still offered today. The company’s offerings expanded quickly, and the fleet inevitably grew, first in 1973, with the addition of the Annapolis landmark, Harbor Queen. In the 1980s, Watermark began providing water taxi service in the Annapolis Harbor.
In 1999, Hartman’s daughter, Debbie Gosselin, purchased Watermark from her father. Having worked for the company since 1982, Gosselin had a vision of expanding and diversifying the public sightseeing cruises offered on the Chesapeake Bay and continuing the commitment to excellence in private charter service.
Over the years, Watermark established itself as the central resource for locals, visitors, school groups, social groups, and corporate clients alike. School groups, in particular, became familiar with Watermark as thousands of school-aged children stepped aboard Harbor Queen each year for their annual field trip to Annapolis.
As a result of the many field trip opportunities, Watermark established a partnership early on with another Annapolis business, Three Centuries Tours, founded in 1975 by Paula Fishback. After many years of working together to provide unforgettable land and water experiences, Chesapeake Marine Tours purchased Three Centuries Tours in 2004, creating Watermark, the provider of the complete Chesapeake Bay experience as it is known today.
On the water, Watermark expanded its offerings to the Baltimore Inner Harbor in 2009.
In 2022, Gosselin retired, selling the company to its general manager of vessel activities and lifelong family friend Jake Iversen and his wife Laura.
Watermark is a leader in the regional hospitality industry and has many partnerships in the surrounding community. The company’s goal is to provide uncompromised customer service during an authentic Chesapeake Bay experience and to maintaining deep involvement in the local business community and charitable efforts.
Watermark is celebrating this incredible milestone throughout the year. First, with an Anniversary Garden Gala in partnership with Historic Annapolis on April 21, followed by activities throughout the season. For more information, visit watermarkjourney.com/celebrating-50-years.