Burials at Sea – Scattering of Ashes

Burials at Sea

Scattering of Ashes –
An At-Sea Memorial Service Or A Celebration of Life

A Burial at Sea by way of the scattering of ashes ceremony has been a celebrated memorial practice since our earliest human history. The scattering of ashes at sea ceremony is often related to the celebration of the circle of life; whether it be as a ritual or commitment to ones life purpose, passion, or to ultimately devote a solemn commitment with our loved ones from the past or into our future. A burial at sea ceremony may also celebrate the recognition that like life, all bodies of water flow together, connect, and will unite on this earth so that ultimately, a loved ones energy may always be near to those who have passed and those that will someday join in the circle of life.

Most of our ceremonies are held on board the 1914 Pilot Boat which comfortably accommodates 25, as well as Swift Boat. Alternatively, we can also perform the services and ceremony on the tall ships Californian, or the Spanish Galleon San Salvador, each accommodates 50 for a burial at sea ceremony. We can discuss these and other options as we move forward.

Maritime Museum can also perform a service/celebration of life aboard the steam ferry Berkeley before, or after the scattering of ashes. Berkeley can accommodate 350 people.

pilot-burialThe base charter rate is $750.00 for two hours, $500 for each additional hour + 6% Charter Fee.

Pilot can accommodate up to 25 passengers.


swiftBoat-burialThe base charter rate is $1,200.00 for two hours, $500 for each additional hour + 6% Charter Fee.

Swift Boat can accommodate up to 25 passengers.


californian-burialThe base charter rate is $1,500.00 for two hours, $500 for each additional hour + 6% Charter Fee.

Californian can accommodate up to 50 passengers.


San Salvador Pacific Heritage TourThe base charter rate is $2,000.00 for two hours, $500 for each additional hour + 6% Charter Fee.

San Salvador can accommodate up to 50 passengers.


A few options that we feel will be appropriate for consideration of the memorial services.

  • Cannon Salute as you leave SD Bay
  • Scottish Bagpiper aboard
  • Chaplain to provide Eulogy
  • Wreath laying ceremony
  • Refreshments onboard (Coffee, muffins, etc.)
Items we will need:
  • County of San Diego Burial Permit. Click here for instructions. For more information contact SD County by EMAIL or phone 619-692-5733.
  • In addition, you will also need to supply us with an original Death Certificate which you would obtain from the mortuary, crematorium or the state in which the person had passed.

Historic Origins: The scattering of ashes at sea ceremony is often related to the celebration of the circle of life; whether it be as a ritual or commitment to ones life purpose or passions, or to ultimately devote a solemn commitment with our loved ones from the past or our future. A burial at sea ceremony may also celebrate the recognition that all bodies of water flow together, connect, and will unite on this earth so that ultimately, a loved ones energy may always be near to those who have passed and those that will someday join in the circle of life.

How much time do I need to schedule an Ash Scattering Service or Burial at Sea Ceremony?
The minimum time frame is three days to schedule our vessels, although if you have the necessary documents we will try to accommodate your wishes. Scheduling is based on ship availability, group numbers, and special services.

Why do you depart so early in the day? We depart early because the weather and water is most likely the calmest during the morning.

What kind of additional special services are available?
The museum can provide a variety of services: Chaplain, flowers or a wreath, food and beverages, or arrange for a musical tribute for your loved ones.

What if I have a large group? The museum has additional vessels available and they vary in price.

Why are forms required? Federal Law and State Law regulations require specific records and standards to be adhered to when performing any burial of remains.

Where do I obtain the required forms? The crematorium of mortuary will provide to you the necessary forms.

What if I or my family does not want to attend the Ash Scattering? You may have the Ashes Scattered by the museum, but you will be required to complete the required forms, plus one additional form. The cost for a non-attended Ash Scattering service is $195.00

Contact our Ship Operations Team:
Click Here to send an inquiry.
Phone (619) 234-9153 ext. 116

All Maritime Museum of San Diego Captains are fully licensed by the United States Coast Guard and are professionally trained. The Museum and its vessels are commercially insured and licensed by the state of California as a “Cremated Remains Disposer”.