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How Much Does Burial at Sea Cost?

bird flying on the beach at sunrise

If you want to honor a person that loved the ocean, a burial at sea service offers a beautiful way to say goodbye. These services differ from traditional funeral plans in several ways. First, you have to choose a scattering location on a body of water with a burial at sea service that follows the EPA guidelines under the MPRSA general permit for burial at sea. Then, you must decide on the various options that influence your burial at sea cost.

The cost of burial at sea includes the initial cremation, announcements, and the actual ceremony. First, you would ask for direct cremation with no additional services from the funeral home or crematorium. They will provide a simple vessel or urn with your loved one’s ashes. 

Second, you would decide how you would like to announce your loved one’s passing. Most people choose to announce this in several ways. Many place an obituary in the newspaper for friends and family who value traditional announcements. 

Often, people like to create personalized memorial cards that they can mail to relatives and close friends. These can also be used as part of the ceremony program if you decide to have an attended service. They become lovely keepsakes. 

Also, informal social media announcements, such as on Facebook, are a common way to pass along information and allow people to communicate their sympathy. You might do this when you turn their Facebook profile into a memorial profile. 

Finally, you’ll need to select burial at sea services from a company that handles these events. 

Table of Contents

Selecting Burial at Sea Services
General Burial at Sea costs
Unattended Ceremony Costs
Attended Ceremony Costs

These services follow a different process than traditional funeral arrangements. Instead of working with a funeral home from beginning to end, you will take possession of your loved one’s ashes after cremation. Then, you will begin arranging your burial at sea ceremony. 

Because you are scattering ashes, you also have more time to plan the memorial and set the date. Some even choose to delay the service until after they have mourned for a period of time.

You can take your loved one’s ashes onto a boat and scatter them on the open water as long as you abide by the EPA guidelines. We recommend choosing an ash scattering service that operates in compliance with these guidelines. This frees you to focus on your family and friends during the ceremony. 

Selecting Sea Burial Services

As you plan your burial at sea service, you can tailor the ceremony to suit your situation. Several decisions influence your burial at sea cost. These include:

  • Scattering Location
  • Service Type such as attended or unattended
  • Ceremony format such as a scattering ceremony or a floating ceremony.

Each of these choices allows you to customize your ceremony to celebrate the life of your loved one. 

How much does it cost to be buried at sea?

In general, burial at sea is less expensive than a traditional funeral. To begin, the cost of cremation is lower than other funeral home services. Also, the simplicity of a burial at sea ceremony lowers your total expense. 

Burial at Sea costs often include:

  • Direct Cremation: $1,500 is the U.S. average according to However, Virginia crematories offer services at a slightly lower rate.
  • Memorial or Celebration of Life Cards: Printing memorial cards or programs ranges from $0.54 each at Shutterfly to $0.99 each at Walgreens.
  • Local Obituary: Announcements can cost between $100 – $800 according to
  • Vessels or Urns: Typically, an urn is included in your cost of cremation. However, you may need a water-soluble urn if you choose a floating ceremony. For example, The Living Urn offers an Eco Water Urn for $139.

Unattended Ceremony costs include:

  • Postage, packaging, shipping, and handling fees 
  • Boat and Captain Reservation 

Attended Ceremony costs include:

  • Initial Cremation 
  • Travel & Lodging 
  • Boat and Captain Reservation

If you’d like to simplify the cost of cremation and burial at sea, consider using a service that offers packages to help plan and facilitate your service. 

Pinterest Graphic: Burial at Sea Cost

Our process is simple. For an attended ceremony, we connect you with a boat captain to schedule the day and time for your ash scattering at sea. You will meet him at the boat slip on your scheduled day. 

For an unattended ceremony, the boat captain will schedule a time to respectfully scatter your loved one’s ashes. We will inform you on the day of release. This typically occurs within 30 days.

Our scattering locations include the North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Virginia. 
If you have any questions about how to scatter ashes at the beach, please get in touch with us by calling 434-534-4007 or emailing us