Spreading ashes at sea – a memorable farewell

One of the United Sailing Ships can make the scattering of ashes a beautiful and unforgettable ceremony for relatives. An old wooden ship creates a natural, historical setting for the memories you have of the deceased.

How does ash spread at sea?

We will glide quietly through the water, spreading the ashes over the sea along with flowers, to give a dignified and beautiful farewell. You can choose to sing any hymn and songs that you feel suit the occasion and the person you are saying goodbye to. Afterwards, we sail around the ashes and the flowers as a final farewell. The wide horizon and the salty fresh air are like balm for the soul and fill the heart with comfort. After this funeral at sea, you will be able to send thoughts to the deceased every time you look out over the ocean. After the ashes are spread, we can serve drinks and food on the deck or in the salon. It gives plenty of time and peace to remember the deceased.

An example of timings for a memorial trip

We are very flexible and can sail from many ports in the Sound or other ports in Denmark. To give an example of timings:

1000 Captain welcomes on board in CPH.
1015 We set course for the sea.
1115 Ash spreading, singing and ceremony.
1200 Guests are offered food and drinks on the deck or in the salon.
1300 Return to the Port of Copenhagen after a dignified farewell.

Where do we sail and where do we scatter the ashes?

The starting point for our sailing trips is the Port of Copenhagen, but we can also sail from other ports primarily on Zealand, for example. Skovshoved, Rungsted or Dragør.

Depending on the wind and weather, the skipper sets the course and chooses a suitable place for scattering the ash, to ensure smooth sailing.

Rules for scattering ashes as civil burial

The rules for scattering ashes must be observed. They appear from the Executive Order on the Funeral and Cremation Act, section 3, subsection 3, which is an amendment to Act no. 346 of 26 June 1975. Before their death, the deceased must have expressed a wish in writing for their ashes to be scattered at sea after cremation. It is possible to download a form at for people who would like to record their wish for the future. The current rules on the scattering of ashes over the high seas entered into force on 1 January 2009.

How much does a funeral at sea cost on a historic sailing ship?

There is no extra cost for spreading the ashes at sea. So, aside from fees you have agreed with the undertaker, you will just pay the usual rate for renting the ship – which depends on which day you want, how many hours for the cruise, how many guests and of course any food and or beverages you might like to arrange. You can see our prices here.