MiscellaneousCruise Ship Burials at Sea Gaining in Popularity

Cruise Ship Burials at Sea Gaining in Popularity

Scattering cremated ashes at sea is a growing cruise trend according to USA Today cruise writer Fran Golden.  Fran published an interesting article today about the roughly 200 Carnival Cruise Line passengers each year who scatter cremated ashes of their loved ones while on a cruise.

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What is the cost of the ashes scattering ceremony on a Carnival Funship?  It’s complimentary but there are a set of rules that must be followed.  For starters, passengers must bring the death certificate and the remains must have been cremated by a facility that is licensed to perform those services in the U.S.

Carnival lists the following procedures and policies on GOCCL.com for the onboard ceremonies:

  • Passengers must contact the Guest Services Desk once onboard the Carnival ship.
  • The Guest Services Staff and the Environmental & Occupational Safety Officer (EOSO) will coordinate the burial at sea.
  • Depending on the ship’s itinerary, a time and location will be coordinated based on the guest’s suggestions and operation requirements.
  • The ceremony must be performed beyond twelve nautical miles from land and any restricted areas noted on the nautical charts and notices to mariners.
  • Once the date and time are finalized, Guest Services will notify the family of the scheduled ceremony.
  • The family will be taken to the area by EOSO and/or a Security Officer.
  • The family will be given privacy to disperse the ashes; the area will be secured in order to ensure privacy without disrupting other guest activities.
  • Ashes and flowers may be dispersed but not plastic materials such as plastic ribbons, plastic flowers, plastic urns, balloons, etc. Biodegradable salt urns can be used as long as non-toxic glues are used to seal the top.

We would love to hear from our readers about this growing cruise trend.  Is this something you would consider for a loved one?  Would you want your ashes buried at sea after you pass away?

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Ben Souza
Ben Souza
Ben is a world traveler who has visited 40+ countries, taken over 70 cruises. He is one of USA TODAY's experts for their 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected].
MiscellaneousCruise Ship Burials at Sea Gaining in Popularity


  1. In February I scattered my dear mother who had taken 8 cruises and my mentally retarded brothers ashes while on the magic. I can not say enough about the care and compassion of the crew members who helped us.

  2. I would love to have my family take me on my “Last” cruise and burial at sea. I,m going to set this up for them to carry out as my final wish. Then I want them to have a great cruise on me !! A celebration of my favorite thing to do.

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