How Much Does It Cost to Be Buried at Sea: What You Need to Know

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Have you ever wondered about the costs associated with a sea burial? It’s an idea that appeals to many due to its unique and environmentally friendly nature. In this blog, we’re going to break down all the expenses tied to these aquatic farewells, from the cost of boat rentals and private company services to those little extras you may not consider.

Stick around as we dive into what it takes financially for your final rest to be in the heart of the ocean.

Key Takeaways

  • The cost of a burial at sea depends on factors like the type of service, length of journey, and number of attendees.
  • Unattended water burials are the most affordable option, starting at $200 to $500.
  • Full – body burials by private companies can range from $5,000 to $10,000.
  • Additional costs to consider include ceremonies and themed celebrations as well as the cost of biodegradable water urns.

Understanding the Cost of a Burial at Sea

Several factors influence the cost of a burial at sea, including the type of service and whether it is attended or unattended.

Factors that affect the cost

Determining the cost of a sea burial involves considering multiple factors.

  1. Type of Burial: If the choice is a full-body burial at sea, prepare for a considerable expense. Private companies typically charge between $5,000 and $10,000 for this service. On the other hand, an unattended water burial costs significantly less, averaging between $200 and $500.
  2. Journey Length: The length of the boat trip can impact overall costs too. Longer journeys may increase fuel expenses which will be included in your final invoice.
  3. Number of Attendees: An intimate ceremony with fewer guests tends to cost less than a large gathering.
  4. Permit Application: Although there’s no fee charged by the EPA to authorize sea burials, you may need to factor in time spent on obtaining this permit into your plans.
  5. Choice of Company: Some private charter companies offer services such as scattering cremated remains at sea and their charges vary widely based on packages offered and reputation in the industry.

Different types of sea burial services and their costs

Sea burials come in a variety of service types, each with its own unique costs. Here’s a rundown of the various options and their associated prices:

Type of Service Cost
Unattended water burial Averages between $200 and $500
Full-body burial at sea (Private company) Starts between $5,000 and $10,000
Attended water burial Varies, but often higher due to the length of journey and number of attendees
Unattended scattering of ashes Ranges between $100 and $400

These costs can vary significantly depending on the specifics of the service, such as the location, the number of attendees, and the type of vessel used. It’s also important to remember that while the EPA authorizes burials at sea, it does not charge for this service. Each of these options allows for a dignified and memorable farewell at sea.

Pricing for attended and unattended water burials

The cost of attended and unattended water burials varies depending on the type of service. For an unattended scattering of ashes, prices range from $100 to $400, making it the most affordable option. If you’re looking for a full-body burial at sea with a private company, prices typically start between $5,000 and $10,000. Keep in mind that costs can increase based on factors like the length of the journey and the number of attendees. It’s important to note that burial at sea must be authorized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but they do not charge for this permit.

Additional Costs to Consider

In addition to the basic cost of a burial at sea, there are several additional expenses that you should be aware of.

Ceremonies and themed celebrations

Ceremonies and themed celebrations can add to the overall cost of a burial at sea. Depending on your preferences, you may choose to have a memorial or celebration of life event before or after the burial.

These additional ceremonies can include various elements such as music, readings, prayers, and decorations that reflect the individual’s life and interests. The cost of these ceremonies will vary depending on factors such as the location, number of attendees, and any special arrangements or theme chosen for the event.

It is important to budget for these expenses when planning a burial at sea to ensure that all desired elements can be included within your financial capabilities.

Cost of the urn for a water burial

The cost of the urn for a water burial can vary depending on the type and material you choose. Biodegradable water urns are often recommended for sea burials, as they are designed to dissolve in water over time.

These urns can range in price from $50 to $500, depending on the size and design. It’s important to consider your budget when selecting an urn, as this cost will be in addition to any other expenses associated with the burial at sea.

Options for biodegradable water urns

Biodegradable water urns are a cost-effective option for those considering a burial at sea. These eco-friendly urns are designed to dissolve in water, allowing the remains to be released into the ocean. Here are some options to consider:

  1. Biodegradable paper urns: Made from recycled paper, these urns are lightweight and suitable for both land and water burials.
  2. Salt urns: These urns are crafted using Himalayan rock salt and dissolve completely in water, leaving no impact on marine life.
  3. Shell urns: Made from natural materials such as seashells or coconut shells, these urns have a beautiful aesthetic and decompose naturally in the water.
  4. Plant-based urns: These biodegradable urns are made from materials like cornstarch or bamboo and break down over time, releasing the ashes into the sea.
  5. Sand or soil urns: Designed to slowly disintegrate in the water, these urns contain sand or soil mixed with organic materials that contribute to the natural decomposition process.
  6. Water-soluble gelatin capsules: These capsules hold a small portion of ashes and dissolve quickly in water, allowing for an easy scattering ceremony.

Budgeting for a Burial at Sea

Assess your financial capabilities and explore alternative options if the cost is too high. Discover how you can give a meaningful farewell on water without breaking the bank.

Assessing your financial capabilities

Before making any decisions about a burial at sea, it’s important to assess your financial capabilities. Consider your budget and determine how much you are willing and able to spend on the process.

Keep in mind that the cost of a burial at sea can vary depending on factors such as the type of service, length of the journey, and number of attendees. It’s helpful to know that unattended water burials tend to be more affordable, with an average cost ranging from $200 to $500.

On the other hand, private companies offering full-body burials at sea usually start their prices between $5,000 and $10,000. Take some time to evaluate your finances and explore different options if necessary.

Exploring alternative options if the cost is too high

If the cost of a burial at sea is beyond your budget, there are alternative options to consider. These options can help you find a more affordable way to honor your loved one’s final wishes while still respecting their connection to the sea:

  1. Direct cremation: Opting for direct cremation is usually less expensive than a full-body burial at sea. After the cremation, you can scatter the ashes in the ocean yourself or choose an attended or unattended ash scattering service.
  2. Memorial services: Instead of a traditional burial at sea, you can hold a memorial service on land. This allows you to celebrate and remember your loved one without incurring the additional costs associated with boat rental and permits.
  3. Shared charters: Instead of renting an entire boat for a private burial at sea, you can join a shared charter where multiple families share the expenses. This option can significantly reduce costs while still allowing you to have a meaningful ceremony.
  4. DIY ceremonies: If regulations permit, you can organize your own DIY ceremony for scattering ashes at sea. This eliminates the need for professional services and can be more cost-effective.
  5. Donation programs: Some organizations offer donation programs where donated bodies are used for scientific research or educational purposes instead of being buried or cremated. This option allows you to contribute to science while eliminating burial costs entirely.


The cost of being buried at sea can vary depending on factors such as the type of service and the number of attendees. From unattended water burials starting at $200 to full-body burials by a private company ranging from $5,000 to $10,000, there are options for various budgets.

Remember to consider additional costs like ceremonies and urns when planning for a burial at sea. Ensure you comply with EPA regulations and seek their instructions for a smooth process.


1. What’s the cost of a burial at sea?

The cost of a burial at sea varies, with some expenses including full body or ashes burials, permits, and the type of ceremony chosen.

2. Are there differing prices for various types of sea burials?

Yes, pricing for sea burials depends on factors like if it’s an unattended ceremony or a large-scale service, whether it includes a coffin or shroud, and if it involves full body burial or ashes scattering.

3. How much does a full-body burial at sea go for?

Full body burial prices differ based on additional services requested such as ceremonial measures but generally tend to be more expensive than other ocean burial options due to logistics involved.

4. Is planning required before performing an underwater funeral?

Sea burial planning is crucial; regulations require suitable preparations including obtaining necessary permits which could influence your overall sea burial expenses.

5. Do I have room to explore different options in regards to my ocean-based last rites?

Certainly! You can choose from diverse funeral at-sea possibilities offering varying levels of complexity and costs; remember though that all these must adhere strictly to the stipulated Burial at Sea Regulations.

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