Burial at Sea vs Traditional Land Funeral an in depth comparison

Burial at Sea vs. Traditional Land Funeral

Burial at Sea vs. Traditional Land Funeral

Mar 24, 2017

When we lose loved-ones, we need to come together and honor their memory. A memorial service is as much about comforting the living as it is about honoring the departed. Most people approach this with a funeral ceremony followed by cremation or burial in the ground. More and more people are choosing burial at sea as an alternative, however. We want to share the answers to some of the most common questions people ask us about memorials at sea.

Why are funerals at sea becoming popular?

It’s hard to put a finger on just one reason. A funeral on a boat has a number of advantages over interment in the ground.

Cost is definitely a factor. We all want the best possible send-off for our loved ones. A burial at sea is a fitting tribute and moving experience that doesn’t cost a fortune. Planning a funeral at sea is also less complex and takes less time. More than this, the experience of burial at sea is unforgettable. People appreciate being close to nature at this sensitive time. The grandeur of the sea and the intimacy of friends and family help to make the passing of loved ones meaningful and healing.

Times change and we think burials at sea are in keeping with the spirit of the times. People today are more conscious of the environment and more open to alternatives. 

Even though more and more people are doing Memorials at Sea, the practice is also rich with history and tradition. It’s a practice that the Navy and private citizens have conducted as long have people have gone to sea.

Why is a memorial at sea less expensive than land burial?

Piggy Bank Savings

The cost of a funeral on a boat is likely to be substantially less than the cost of traditional burial. Some of the requirements will be similar and the cost will already be included in your burial at sea package. However, there are many expenses associated with burial in the ground that do not need to be factored into a sea-memorial.

The Federal Trade Commission has a useful checklist for traditional land burials. You will see that some of the most significant expenses, such as a casket and a marker or monument, are not necessary for a funeral on a boat.

There are other expenses for land burial that can be hidden or ongoing. These include the cost of staff or facilities for visitation or viewing. Elaborate vaults, mausoleums or crypts are more expensive than cemetery plots. Graveside staff and equipment and vehicles, such as hearses, can add further costs. Perpetual care is another cost factor to consider.

Sea burial costs less because some of the most significant expenses of land burial are simply not necessary.

How much time does it take to prepare and plan a funeral at sea?

Unlike land burial, burial at sea can be organized quickly. The arrangements are likely to be more straightforward too. There are simply fewer things to consider when you choose a funeral at sea. This can be important for grieving families at this most sensitive time. No one wants to be making important and potentially expensive decisions when they are feeling vulnerable.

The factors that make land burial expensive also make them time-consuming and complex to plan. Funeral homes, cemeteries, caskets, vehicles, catering, and visitations are all important and complicated decisions to make. It’s easy to get lost in the administration and lose the opportunity to grieve and heal. Burial at sea allows those closest to the departed more time for themselves. Mourners at a sea burial can spend this time together. That’s more time celebrating the life they lived with their loved one, grieving their loss and looking to the future.

What can I expect from a sea memorial?

Peace

The three most common things that people talk about after a burial at sea are peace, intimacy, and atmosphere. This may come as no surprise to you if you enjoy the ocean but there seems to be something special about a memorial at sea.

Both sailing novices and experienced, salty sea goers remark on the sense of peace. There is no traffic to navigate or seating to negotiate so mourners come to the ceremony focused and ready. The circle of friends gathered for the celebration are brought closer during a funeral on a boat, both physically and emotionally. The temporary isolation from the bustle of the world helps to create the right atmosphere for contemplation. The splendor of the surrounding ocean provides mourners with an awe-inspiring perspective.

What sort of things should I consider before choosing burial at sea?

We often ask if boats, yachts or the ocean were special to the deceased. If so, there may be a particular spot where you would like to scatter their ashes. We can navigate to the exact spot if you have the GPS coordinates or we can help you find somewhere appropriate.

Our catamaran is a generous 60 feet long and 32 feet across. You will need to consider the available space when planning your ceremony. We recommend you look over the layout either by coming on board or reviewing the schematics here. We also provide catering and you can view some of the options here.

You can assure your guests that the boat is incredibly stable and comfortable offshore. The Adventuress is a catamaran and catamarans do not heel like a traditional mono-hull sailboat. This stability makes the Adventuress the ideal offshore yacht for this solemn occasion. The Adventuress is also powered by twin 200HP turbo engines so, whether under sail or under power, she is fast and reliable.

There are also certain legalities and restrictions that you will need to consider. We invite you to contact us here for a confidential and understanding discussion of your sea memorial needs.

Thinking ahead

We encourage people who may wish to be buried at see to think ahead. Our staff can help you through that process or provide sensitive advice on how to approach loved ones. Please review our Memorial at Sea to learn more. 

Alternatively, if your need is urgent you can call us right now on (619) 781-7100, email sailing@adventuress.us or contact us here.

We hope you have found this information useful and would love to hear from you if you have any questions or feedback.