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Meet Debbie Gosselin of Watermark (R) Tours, Charters, Cruises

Today we’d like to introduce you to Debbie Gosselin.

Hi Debbie, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
As a teenager, I started working for my father’s family boating business as a deckhand. We have always been boaters, and getting paid to work on the water was a dream. Fast forward several decades, I found myself working full-time, learning all the ins and outs of the business and the communities in which we operate. In 1999 I became my father’s exit strategy and purchased the passenger vessel company now known as Watermark. We are in our 49th year of continuous operation, and now my own daughter, Ginny Mininger, works with me in the business.

I love what we offer, as do our customers. We sell fun and immerse our guests in the history, culture, and fun of the Chesapeake area better than any other tour or charter company. We have many different price points, which means we have something for everyone. Our team is fantastic and a pleasure to work with…

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Operating a small business is never without bumps in the road. The two biggest challenges have been the recession, which began in 2008, and of course the pandemic. Smaller bumps include legislative issues, the flood from Tropical Storm Isabel in 2003, and 9/11.

As you know, we’re big fans of Watermark (R) Tours, Charters, Cruises. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
We work to deliver our promise to our customer every day: Watermark immerses people in the history, culture, and fun of the Chesapeake Bay Area more than any other tour or charter company.. whether you want to learn or just enjoy, no one else offers so many ways to experience this special place, both by land and by water, in less than an hour or as long as you like. In fact, we originated the idea of giving our guests a truly authentic Chesapeake Bay experience in Annapolis almost 50 years ago. Our unique training program ensures that everyone in the company, from period-dressed tour guides to captains to event planners, are still the people that share that experience in the most interesting and exciting way.

Our company culture results in a team that celebrates every happy guest and client and works hard to remediate any mistakes, which are inevitable. We subscribe to Danny Myer’s premise that the road to success is paved with mistakes well-handled. Bottom line, we care. We care about people: our teammates, guests, community members, I am most proud of that.

What do you like best about our city? What do you like least?
Best: The history, its interdependence on the water and the connection to both the founding and development of this great nation. The stories of The War of 1812 and the immigrant neighborhoods are beautifully illustrated by Fort McHenry and the former immigration center, which processed more immigrants than any other city except Ellis Island in New York. These structures are neighbors on the waterfront and represent wonderful parts of Baltimore’s story.

Least: The strife which has negatively impacted the City’s reputation and consequently its visitation.

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