Watermark Flag

Safety & Accessibility

General Vessel Safety

Each of Watermark’s vessels receives an annual safety inspection by the U.S. Coast Guard. View the video to the right to learn what to look for when taking a cruise.

Watermark has received numerous U.S. Coast Guard awards for Safety Inspection Excellence.

A demonstration of the location and use of Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) occurs before each cruise. In addition to the required PFDs on board, a USCG-approved PFD for every elementary school child under 90 pounds will be on board. If needed, a special container of PFDs will be delivered to the vessel.

Life Jacket

Team Safety

The Watermark team receives frequent training and certifications as required by the U.S. Coast Guard. Some of these trainings include fire on board, first aid, CPR, man overboard, vessel security, as well as the prevention of slips, trips, and falls.

Vessel Route — Float Plan

Annapolis: Vessels normally depart from Annapolis City Dock, 1 Dock Street, and cruise through the protected waters of Annapolis Harbor and the Severn River.

Baltimore: Vessels depart from the Finger Piers in the Inner Harbor by the Science Center on Light Street, and cruise through the protected waters of the Inner Harbor and the Patapsco River.

Communication between Vessel and Shore (Port)

Consistent with USCG requirements, passenger counts are recorded on land for each cruise. At all times during the cruise, the wheelhouse is capable of immediate communications to and from the USCG, as well as to and from Baltimore City Marine Police, the Annapolis Harbormaster, Department of Natural Resources Police, and Watermark management ashore.

Electronic Tracking

Catherine Marie, Raven, Lady Sarah, Cabaret II, Harbor Queen, and Annapolitan II are equipped with an automatic identify system (AIS) capable of tracking by USCG.

Weather Monitoring

Weather reports are monitored on an ongoing basis, including prior to departure. Watermark vessels have successfully passed all USCG stability testing for weather conditions normally encountered in the protected waters of the Patapsco and Severn Rivers, as well as the semi- protected waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

Weather conditions are monitored on frequencies appropriate to macro and micro Inner Harbor and Annapolis Harbor conditions. Monitoring may commence prior to cruising or during cruising depending on observed atmospheric stability or instability on the cruising date. If Watermark management makes a weather or other-related decision to cancel the cruise, a refund of the cruise fees is provided.

Water Taxi Captain

Harbor Queen Life Ring


Catherine Marie, Raven, Lady Sarah, Cabaret II, Harbor Queen, Annapolitan II, and Miss Anne are documented with the USCG, are authorized to carry passengers by the USCG as evidenced on their Certificates of Inspection, and all captains are licensed as vessel masters by the USCG for the size vessel they are operating.

The following documents are required for all Watermark captains:

  • TWIC – Transportation Workers Identification Credential
  • Valid Medical Certificate
  • Marine Radio Permit

Watermark captains and crew members participate in random substance abuse testing and compliance with USCG guidance as to physical fitness. Watermark maintains a pool of trained captains, and only appropriately licensed vessel masters may operate our vessels, per federal law. Scheduling occurs approximately three weeks ahead of the cruise and may change due to unexpected availability of the captain.


Watermark’s vessels are handicapped and wheelchair accessible except for Miss Anne (Spa Creek Cruises) and the Water Taxis. Not all restrooms are wheelchair accessible. Please contact our sales office at 410-268-7601 x 100 to discuss any special needs or requests. We’re happy to discuss the accessibility of each vessel or tour in detail.