Scattering Ashes At Sea

(Farewell Ceremony)

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions or in need of clarification, our comprehensive Q&A section will be able to help you. We have completed all the information needed to assist you through the entire charter process ensuring that you get the most out of your ceremony.  We are looking forward to welcoming you aboard!

Please note that due to the unpredictability of the weather and water conditions, be advised the date and time frame will need to be confirmed the day before the scheduled ceremony.

What are the steps to complete the arrangements?

These guidelines will help you create the perfect send-off that will honor your loved one. The ceremony is all about saying goodbye and creating an everlasting memory.

Once you have established the type of ceremony that would best fit your family and loved ones, there are only a few steps you need to follow to complete your arrangement.

  1. Call Stargazer at (910) 540-4049. We will discuss your wishes and plan the event together.
  2. The preparation of documents and itinerary.
  3. We will send the document via E mail or, if desired, via US post mail for your final approval. This Ceremony Itinerary will include the “Authorization to Disseminate at Sea”, “Release of Liability” and “Charter Contract” which will include all of the details of the ceremony.  You will receive a separate email regarding the invoice which is payable online through a secured and encrypted website.
  4. We will need a copy of the cremation certificate provided by the crematorium.
  5. Once all of the completed paperwork and full payment are received, we will confirm the date, time and location of the ceremony.
  6. If you will not be bringing the cremains at the time of the event, please be sure we receive them at least 3 days prior to the ceremony to allow time for preparation. Once we receive the cremains, we will contact you with confirmation of the date and time of the ceremony. Please see below on how to mail cremains.



Do I need to present any documentation of the deceased?

YES,  We require a copy of the deceased individual’s “Cremation Certificate” which will be provided by the crematorium. The certificate will include the deceased legal name, date of birth, date of death and date of cremation, etc.

 Do I need an Urn?

No.  If you wish you may purchase a biodegradable urn or we can use the same container that was provided by the crematorium and we will transfer the cremains into the dissemination basket from there.  If the cremains are in a SEALED URN there is an additional $75.00 fee to transfer the cremains to the dissemination basket.

What kind of urns are used for scattering at sea?

There are many types of urns that can be used.  If you are planning on releasing the entire urn into the sea the law states that you must use an earth friendly, biodegradable urn. For example, an urn that is made from paper, cardboard, natural salt, or other plant-based materials. In such instances the right sort of urn is one that can float for a few minutes then gently submerges into the water and dissolves, giving you time to reflect and say your goodbyes.  Biodegradable urns are to be provided by the customer.  The type of urn used depends on your style and budget.

What are the procedures regarding sending the cremains via US Postal service?

Effective September 2019 the postal service has new requirements for transporting cremains in order to increase visibility, improve tracking and handling.

When transporting the cremains domestically, you must use Priority Mail Express and place them in a sturdy box specifically designed for cremains also known as a (CRE) box. Label # 139 (indicating cremated remains) is required and must be affixed to all sides of the container including top and bottom. The purpose of using this service is to ensure that the package is tracked online via the USPS website and ensuring they are handled with care. This type of packaging is available at your local USPS store.

For international delivery or any other questions, you can contact USPS shipping services at (800) 275-8777 or visit them online by

How soon can the memorial service take place if it is an unattended ceremony?

Stargazer will head out to sea within 15 days of receiving your cremains, (weather permitting), in order to provide a personal burial ceremony for your loved one. We will contact you prior to the day of the farewell ceremony and work closely with you to make this a fitting memorable occasion. The captain and crew will take great care of your loved one and handle the process with dignity and the utmost respect it deserves.

What kind of guarantee do we have that the dissemination process took place?

We understand that our service requires transparency and trust.  Therefore, we provide live streaming, videos and or digital pictures for you.

The service will be performed by Captain Richard and his First Mate Beverly and is not outsourced.

Captain Richard is a licensed USCG Captain and Ordained Minister. All travels are logged in the boat’s logbook which is a federal document.

EPA regulations require that scattering of human cremains performed at sea is reported to the Environmental Protection Agency. The report includes specific information regarding the deceased. It is a federal crime to falsify these documents.

We will provide you with a Certificate of Dissemination. This certificate is suitable for framing and will state the date, time, latitude and longitude of the final resting place of your loved one.


Can I bring alcohol aboard?

Responsible wine and beer consumption is allowed within reason. You are welcome to bring your own and we will be more than happy to keep it on ice for you. No glass bottles please 🙂

Are gratuities included?

No.  The customary gratuity for the crew at the end of the ceremony charter is typically 10% to 20% of the charter fee.  The quality of service should dictate the amount of the gratuity. The crew works extremely hard, ensuring you and your guests always stay safe and catering to your every need, ensuring your experience on Stargazer is one that you will remember for a lifetime.

How long does the attended ceremony at sea take?

Trips are flexible around your needs and wishes.  Most trips average 3-6 hours from departure to return.  It depends on the location of the departing port, the type of memorial provided, weather conditions, and what your wishes are after the memorial.  We will assure you that we will do our best to accommodate all your wishes.

How do we know the exact location where our loved ones are laid to rest ?

We will provide you the exact latitude and longitude coordinates of the point of dispersal given to us via our on-board GPS system.  An attractive and frameable certificate of dissemination will be provided for your records.

Can we keep some of the cremains?

YES.  Many families choose to keep an amount of cremains for jewelry, or to keep in a sentimental urn at home.

The beautiful part of cremation is that it allows the family to divide the cremains to make creative and meaningful decisions that honors their loved one.

How far in advance do we need to book our ceremony?

Dates fill up quickly during the warm weather season.  We recommend that you contact us as soon as possible so that we can accommodate you on your specific date.

Do people generally get motion sickness while participating at the memorial at sea?

No.  The vessel has a very sturdy platform and she handles the sea extremely well.

If you are not sure how you will react to possible motion sickness, it is recommended to visit your doctor prior to the charter for advice. Any anti-nausea medication should be taken the night before and 2 hours prior to departure for maximum effectiveness. Over the counter motion sickness aids such as wristbands, and behind the ear remedies also work. We keep ginger gum and ginger ale on board for your needs. Check with your pharmacist for your particular situation.

If you are prone to seasickness, we recommend you consider staying and viewing the ceremony from shore.

What should I bring aboard the yacht when we go out to sea?

In order to be comfortable for your day at sea.  The following items are recommended to ensure your day on the water is enjoyable.

  • You are welcome to bring cut flowers, flower petals, or a floral wreath. All must be biodegradable!
  • Sunscreen, lip balm, hat, sunglasses
  • Music playlist with bluetooth capabilities.
  • No black sole shoes, flip flops, high heels or dress shoes.
  • Camera/phone for pictures and videos
  • Motion sickness medication if needed.
  • Most important – Dress for the day, layering is best.. Weather in NC is unpredictable.  An unexpected rain shower or cool breeze on the water can occur without warning.

Can you play or provide any special music?

  • Stargazer is well equipped with the latest custom-made electronics. It includes the ability to Bluetooth your own smartphone or any smart devices into our central audio system and be able to entertain any music or songs you desire.

Can you perform pet burial at sea ceremonies?

No. Unfortunately, EPA regulations state that you cannot release pet remains into the ocean.

Where is the pre-selected location?

This depends on your preference.  According to the EPA requirement we must be at least 3 miles from shore to disseminate the cremains.  We will either go out Masonboro Inlet off Wrightsville Beach or 3 miles out the mouth of the Cape Fear River.

What happens if the weather is inclement?

The safety of our guests, crew and vessel is extremely important. We will contact you several days prior to the scheduled day of the ceremony and update you with the latest weather conditions expected on the day of the ceremony.  If the forecast is threatening, we will study the possibility of rescheduling for a later date or time at no additional cost to you. The goal is to provide a safe and positive experience for all.

What is the age limit for the charter?

You must be at least (8) years old to board the Stargazer.  Anyone under (18) must be accompanied by an adult (18 or over).

Is there a bathroom on board?

Yes, Stargazer has 2 marine bathrooms for your convenience during the cruise.

What if I need to cancel my charter?

We highly recommend purchasing Cancellation and Curtailment Insurance. Charterers need to be aware that some fees will be deducted. Please visit the cancellation procedures on the contract for more details.  It is worth the small expense to cover you for any unforeseen events.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

How flexible are the charter itineraries?

Stargazer will work closely with you to design your dream itinerary by sharing local knowledge and recommendations. 


Scattering Ashes at Sea Packages