Frequently Asked Questions about Burials at Sea


We try to create our website with as much important information as possible and hope that you find it useful. Below are some of the more frequently asked questions we receive via phone or email about burials at sea and ash scattering.  If your question is not listed here, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

What’s the difference between “Attended” and “Unattended” ash scattering?

An Attended scattering of ashes is where friends and family of the deceased are invited to “attend” the scattering at sea on the yacht. An “unattended” ash scattering is where the friends and family of the deceased either choose not to, or are unable to attend the scattering aboard one of our vessels but is honoring their loved one’s wishes to be scattered at sea.

May we choose the yacht that we want to have host our burial at sea?

You are welcome to submit to us your desired preference for any of the fine yachts in our fleet. Coast Guard capacity rules and availability will influence the selection process. We will be happy to guide you in providing the most suitable vessel for your service.

Do we tip the Captain and crew?

Gratuities are not included in your charter rates and are left completely to your discretion. You are not obligated to do so, but they are graciously accepted. If you feel so inclined, tips on a yacht charter are comparable to other service industry standards at 15%.

How much notice do you need?

Although we prefer as much advance notice as possible, depending on your flexibility and the availability of a suitable vessel, we may be able to accommodate you on very short notice. As flexible as we can be, we still need time to organize our crew and prepare the vessel for each trip. Please feel free to contact us as soon as you know when you’d like to plan your burial at sea.

How much does a burial at sea cost?

There are several factors that will effect cost such as the number of people in your party, which vessel you select, and the length of time you’d like to be on the water, food and beverages, catering menu, to name a few. Please feel free to ask for a quote that meets the needs your group.

Are there other fees associated with our charter rates?

Your charter rates are subject to marina fees and Port taxes. These are two separate fees, but together average about 10% total (depending on the marina of your embarkation). Please ask at the time of booking if you would like to know the specific rates for your vessel.

Are we allowed to bring our own food and beverage?

Yes. You are allowed to bring your own food and beverages aboard our vessels. However, please consult with the Captain of the actual vessel that you are chartering as each yacht may have its own alcohol license and may have certain restrictions. Please be sure to ask at time of booking. We can also provide beverages and food options upon request.

May we bring flowers or a wreath to toss into the sea?

Yes, you may. Please be sure that everything in the arrangement is natural and compostable. There can be no plastic, foam, glass or metal components. You may toss flowers, pedals, or any other organic matter into the ocean along with your loved one’s cremains.

Will we be able to return to the same location of scattering for birthdays, anniversaries, etc.?

Yes, you must be sure to ask the Captain or crew member to note the specific latitude and longitude at the time that you are placing the ashes into the water. You can then provide those coordinates to any Captain in the following years and return to that very same location each time.

Do you or your crew say anything or perform any kind of ritual at our ceremony or if scattering unattended ashes?

Not typically. Out of respect for the wide variety of religions, traditions, and belief systems, our Captains and crew do not participate in your ceremonies or impose their beliefs on your loved one, friends, and family. We can provide an officiant for your service at your request.

May we have our religious leader aboard for a service?

You are welcome to have your religious leader or clergy come aboard and perform a service for your loved one. For the purposes of the charter, they are simply counted as another guest.

Do we need a special permit to scatter ashes at sea?

Yes. You will need to bring a copy of a “Disposition of Remains” permit issued by the County Office of Vital Records to the Captain of your vessel at the time of your ash scattering. If you don’t have one or aren’t sure what it is, please feel free to ask for assistance in acquiring your permit.

Are you licensed to scatter ashes at sea?

Yes, we are licensed and regulated by the state of California Cemetery and Funeral Board as a “Cremated Remains Disposer”. Our yacht Captains are licensed by the US Coast Guard.

Is there a minimum time needed for chartering our burial at sea?

Yes, it generally takes approximately 2 hours to depart from the marina, to the location for a brief (yet not rushed) scattering of ashes, and then return to dock. However, we like to recommend adding an additional hour to your charter for a brief tour of San Diego Bay prior to your return. This allows you to spend quality bonding time with your other guests enjoying a pleasant end of your day on the water.

What do you do in the event of poor weather conditions?

One of the best reasons to have your loved one’s ashes scattered at sea off the coast of San Diego, is the consistent year round pleasant weather. If you happen to schedule your burial at sea on a day with less than favorable weather, we may still be able to accommodate your scattering if it is safe to do so. All of our Captains are alert to weather, wind and sea forecasts and will not leave the dock in dangerous conditions. In the event of light rain showers with minimal wind, we will consult with you to discuss your options of either continuing your scattering of ashes as planned or rescheduling your charter. In the event of heavy rains and wind, our Captains will cancel the charter for that day and work with you to reschedule. The safety of you and your guests is our utmost priority.

Do I need to worry about being sea sick?

If you are prone to be sensitive to motion, we would recommend that you take appropriate precautions prior to boarding. However, in hopes of putting your mind somewhat at ease, much of the trip is traveling in calm and protected waters that do not experience ocean swells. The scattering location is in the ocean and our vessels will be subjected to the swells of the day. Fortunately, like our weather, San Diego typically enjoys calm waters most of the year.