Connect with us
The Hustle

Name: Capt. Christian Obenshain (Pier Dolphin Cruises)

Posted By Bill DeYoung

The Atlantic bottlenose dolphin is a year-round resident of the Gulf Coast and Tampa Bay, and Capt. Christian Obenshain guarantees you'll encounter the friendly mammal on a Pier Dolphin Cruises excursion. Located at Dock 22 at the St. Petersburg Municipal Marina (adjacent to the St. Pete Pier), Capt. Obenshain's operation also offers Sunset Cruises (with complementary adult beverages), kids' birthday parties and private parties.

Years in Tampa Bay

Fourth generation St. Petersburg native, second generation business owner in St Petersburg Marina.

Hustle (job)

Owner of Pier Dolphin Cruises.

What do you do?  

I am an ambassador of this beautiful city and Tampa Bay wildlife. 

Why do you do it?

I left 20 years in corporate America last summer to run my own business, be on the water, and be able to give back to the community. Bottom line, I needed it to fulfill myself.

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

I took a tour with the previous owner and it immediately felt right. The boat is iconic here, having been based at the end of the old pier for 20 years. I had to make it happen and did it, I got funding together and miraculously closed the deal Sept. 25.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

Most locals say ‘wow I didn’t realize how wonderful the tour is, I thought it was a tacky, touristy trap but really enjoyed it.’

Lots of my friends think I hop on the boat and drive it. There is SO much more to this business, marketing, mechanical preparation, managing the operations. 

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

Two parts, by far and away. One, it’s the sacrifice of the first year of being in business and balancing family life as a single father. Number two, the unknown threat of Covid shutdowns. However, we just keep pushing.

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

My father: ‘Keep an even strain.’

More Hustle

The St. Pete Catalyst

The Catalyst honors its name by aggregating & curating the sparks that propel the St Pete engine.  It is a modern news platform, powered by community sourced content and augmented with directed coverage.  Bring your news, your perspective and your spark to the St Pete Catalyst and take your seat at the table.

Email us:

Subscribe for Free

Share with friend

Enter the details of the person you want to share this article with.