Scattering of Ashes at Sea
We have helped many families fulfil the wishes of their loved ones by enabling their ashes to be scattered at sea. We understand this is usually a very difficult time for people so our team are here to help every step of the way.
- Arranging the ceremony
We offer the service on our ferry service between Southampton and East Cowes. Before buying tickets, please contact our Customer Services Team. A colleague will check availability and confirm with you that we will be able to hold the ceremony on your preferred crossing. A car or foot passenger booking will then be made for you.
- Friends & family
The area onboard from which the ashes are scattered into the water can only accommodate 3-4 people. However, many friends and family members often wish to be on board to witness the occasion from the outside decks. Once the booking has been confirmed, you can give the details to those who would like to attend so they can make foot passenger or vehicle bookings on-line or via our Contact Centre.
For larger groups, a private lounge is available at an additional charge. We are also able to offer a range of food and beverage options should you wish. If this is something you would be interested in booking, please ask a member of our team for further details.
- On the day
Once onboard, please make yourself known to the Onboard Service Officer and they will take you to the bridge to meet with the Captain, who will run through the proceedings and find out where you would like the ashes to be scattered. Once the destination has been reached, the ship will slow down and move into the correct position.
The Captain or Senior Officer will accompany you to an outside area which is on a lower deck and if requested they will say a prayer. The ceremonies are private, taking place without inconveniencing other guests.
Many people throw rose petals or flowers into the water and watch them drift away.
Once the scattering has taken place the Captain will provide you with location details from the entry in the ship's log. A certificate can also be issued to commemorate the scattering of the ashes.
A biodegradable urn is recommended to prevent the remains from blowing onto the side of the ferry. Or, if you prefer, the ashes can be thrown directly into the sea.
We don't charge for the scattering of ashes ceremony. The only costs payable are for travel and this is dependent on the number of guests attending and the number of vehicles.
"Please can you pass on a massive thank you to Debbie for being my over the phone shoulder to cry on and for just being there. The ashes service was perfect and I knew it would be. Thank you for listen to me cry, sob, shout get angry and for always knowing the right thing to say. Thank you for making this easier than I ever dreamt it would be."
Mrs G - May 2016
"I would like to thank you for the excellent service I received when I contacted you regarding scattering my father's ashes. From the start to the ceremony onboard we were treated with respect and such helpful advice. Debbie made the whole event relaxed and at time was the voice of reason. The ships crew were wonderful. It is truly a lovely thing you did for my family and thank you from our family."
Mrs M - May 2016
"Please can you extend my grateful thanks to all concerned with regards to the scattering of my Mum's ashes. Special thanks must go to Debbie who, from over the telephone, seemed to hold my hand throughout the whole process. It takes a special person to know exactly the right things to say to make you feel better and to turn tears into a smile. Your customer service is to be applauded. Thank you for allowing my family and I to give our mum a dignify service."
Mrs W - May 2016
"I want to tell you how impressed I was the scattering of ashes service arranged by Debbie. what a lovely lady, so kind and considerate. I will admit I had severe doubt about how this would be dealing with a large company but all doubts were soon diminished. I liked the idea that I dealt with just one person who, I’m sure was fed up with my questions, never made any of the family feel rushed and as she said 'no question is a stupid question'. Your customer service from start to finish was impeccable and lot of travel companies, well all companies, could learn a lot about how to deal with customers on a personal and friendly manner and not once did I feel like i was 'just another customer'. Everything was tailored to my needs. None of my family or I have ever used Red Funnel before but now we will all definitely be travelling with you again. Thank you Debbie and thank you Red Funnel."
Mr R - May 2016
"On behalf of my family I would like to express my sincere and utmost thanks to Debbie for all she has done for us regarding scattering my mother's ashes. Her help and support was unending. We will always be indebted to her for making both our mothers and fathers ceremony exactly what we would hope for. Debbie's kindness and the way she knew exactly what to say helped to make this easier. Thank you and best wishes."
Mr P - April 2016
"I want to express my thanks to Debbie for all the help and support she gave to me and my grandmother following the death of my grandfather. From start to finish Debbie was at the end of the phone offering encouragement and help. The service on the ferry was exactly what my grandmother wanted for my grandfather who was an ex merchant seaman. We had never travelled with Red Funnel before and following this we will now not travel with anyone else. Again my thanks and totally gratitude to Debbie for all she did for us."
Ms. W - April 2016
"Please can you convey my heartfelt thanks on behalf of my family and friends for the kindness shown to us when arranging the scattering of ashes. Debbie was amazing, so thoughtful and the packet of tissues were very welcome as that was the one thing I forgot to take. The poem she found for me to read was perfect and even marked the places in the verse where I needed to breath. Also, I must mention Oliver. What a charming young man and even though he told me he was training he ws so helpful in booking one of the cars I forgot. All the staff on the ferry were lovely and so kind and made a day we were dreading bearable. Never again will any of my family or friends travel Wightlink when we can get such wonderful Customer Service from you. Forever grateful.”
Mrs G - March 2016
"Please can you pass on my sincere and heartfelt thanks to Debbie and the staff on the Red Falcon for making our scattering of ashes services a moving and perfect occasion. From start to finish my family and I were treated with such kindness and Debbie was fantastic throughout, even finding me the perfect poem to read. On the ferry we were not rushed but treated with the utmost dignity and respect. My sincere and heartfelt thanks.”
Mr M - March 2016
"Please can you convey my thanks to Debbie for making the occasion of scattering my Father’s ashes both memorable and dignified. From start to finish she was so helpful, encouraging and never once did we fell rushed. The pack of tissues Debbie gave us were very useful. The staff on the ferry were very understanding and attentive and the day was exactly what we had hoped for and more. Thank you Red Funnel. Excellent Customer Service from what is so obviously a caring company.”
Mr C - March 2016
“Thank you so much for your email which I will certainly pass on to Mum. With the card she wanted to say how much she appreciated all the effort and trouble you went to, making that day so special for us all. It meant a lot to the family and your kindness throughout was brilliant. We all said how smoothly the whole thing went and Mum has told me she was overwhelmed with the emotion on the day but now feels so much calmer... thanks to you all. We were so lucky with the sunshine too. So, please pass on our thanks to all at Red Funnel and the crew on The Red Falcon who went `the extra mile` to turn a sad occasion into a celebration of Dad`s life. Also, a huge thank you to Mick, one of the ferry crew who made mum a seaman`s rope cross to throw in the water. The very next day, as promised, he made another one and personally delivered it to her so she could keep that memento .... what a star! Once again, many thanks to you all.”
Mrs C - March 2016
“Sadly, my brother has now passed and as we were so impressed with the way we were treated in August, the family would like a ceremony at sea for him.”
Mrs W - Feb 2016
“Your service can not be faulted. We were dealt with professionally, yet in a caring way, we did not feel rushed and all our questions were answered. Every family member are now converted Red Funnel travellers (namely the ones that use to travel with the opposition) and we will recommend your company and especially your customer service.”
Mr P - Feb 2016
“When we contacted Red Funnel I will admit was skeptical as to how we would be treated. I was expecting a business like attitude and was amazed to have been treated in such a personal and friendly manner. From start to finish it was, although sad, a perfect experience. Your customer service is to be applauded.”
Mrs W - Jan 2016
"Following the arrangements and the actual service I would like to wholeheartedly thank your company for making it such a perfect occasion. Debbie was tremendous with her help and fantastic sense of humour. We said we did not want my dad's service to be dull and sad and Debbie made sure it wasn't. Whenever I phone, no matter how I felt, I always came off the phone smiling. Thank you to the lovely crew and for the opportunity to go onto the bridge. Excellent service all round. I will have no hesitation in recommending Red Funnel. Thank you."
Mrs Q - April 2016
"I wanted to send my sincere and total thanks to Debbie for all she has done for not only me but my family. After I lost my daughter through severe depression I was apprehensive as to whether you would treat my questions and the scattering of my daughter's ashes seriously and you did. I was treated with nothing but compassion and such wonderful understanding when I broke down over the phone. I didn't feel I had to explain anything she just seemed to know the right things to say and without my telling her she knew what had happened and how I was feeling. In away she helped to take away the feelings that it was my fault my daughter had died. Please can you pass on my heartfelt thanks and let her know that I have found the web site she told me about and it has helped me. I never expected to received this sort of help and support and believe me we will never travel with Wightlink again. After discovering Red Funnel we are now fully committed to using your service only. My thanks especially to Debbie."
Mrs W - April 2016
"I want to thank you and your company for allowing me to scatter my son and his dog's ashes today. It is difficult to find words to express how thankful we are for your expression of kindness and help you gave to our family during his truly difficult time. There comes a time in life that support is extremely necessary. This was one of those times and Debbie was there for me every second. Please can you pass on a big thank you to Debbie. What a lovely, lovely lady who just seemed to know the right things to say to make me feel a little better. The day was as I imagined. Thank you so much to everyone involved."
Mrs T - April 2016
"I would like to express my thanks to Debbie for making the laying of my son's ashes at sea so memorable. Debbie was approachable and found just the right verse for me to read. When she telephoned me the evening before I was so touched and I never doubted that the day would go well. Also, thank you to the crew for allowing me time to say goodbye. Never once did I feel rushed or pressured in any way. I was treated with nothing but respect and dignity throughout. This is a wonderful service you offer as you offer freedom. I will now travel regularly with Red Funnel so I can be close to my son. My heartfelt thanks, I am indebted to your company."
Mrs B - April 2016
"A very big thank you for everything that was put in place to make my daughter's scatter of ashes service exactly what i imagined. Everyone was so kind, but I must send a special thank you to Debbie who I felt has been holding my hand throughout this. I couldn't have got through this without her. Thank you."
Mrs S - April 2016
Scattering of Ashes at Sea FAQs
Is this a personal service you offer?
Yes this is a personalised service and you will have a dedicated member of the team.
How many ceremonies per sailing do you conduct?
We only allow one ceremony per crossing, this is out of respect to the deceased and their family.
How many different people do we have to deal with?
We appreciate that this is a very difficult time for you and understand the heartache that can be caused by repeatedly going through the details of your loved one. Therefore, we have one colleague dedicated to each family who will be your point of contact throughout.
Is it correct you do not charge for the actual scattering, we only pay for travel costs?
Yes, absolutely. We are privileged to be able to offer the service to fulfil the final wishes of your loved one. There is no charge whatsoever for the scattering of ashes ceremony, just the ferry charge to travel over. This is dependent on the number of guests and cars making the crossing and is confirmed at the time of booking.
We are not religious, can we still have the ceremony?
Of course. The nature of the ceremony is entirely up to yourself, religious or non religious. We are here to fulfil your wishes.
We are religious and would like a religious ceremony according to our faith, is this possible?
Of course. We have conducted many ceremonies that have been attended by multi-faith leaders, often from the local places of worship of the deceased. We are in contact with the Port Chaplain and can put you in touch to arrange his attendance if you wish.
Are you able to provide words or prayers that can be read out at the ceremony?
Yes, we are happy to be able to advise of suitable readings should you wish.
Who will scatter the ashes?
This is absolutely up to you. It is invariably the next of kin.
Can we throw items into the water?
No, due to Environmental Agency regulations governing the pollution of the Solent, we cannot allow anything other than the ashes to be thrown into the water.
Is the scattering public or is this done privately?
The service is totally private with just one or two crew members, however it is a public crossing and there will be other passengers travelling. They will not be able to see or hear the ceremony, at the point the ashes are scattered the Captain can sound the horn as a mark of respect if you wish.
How many people can be at the actual scattering?
The ashes are scattered from the lower deck area. The platform is quite small and can take upto 4 guests inclusive of crew.
Can our family and friends attend?
Of course. We have accommodated in excess of 100 guests on numerous occasions. Although they cannot be present during the actual scattering, they gain comfort by taking the journey with the family of their loved one.
Do you offer private rooms on board for family and friends?
Subject to availability and an additional charge, we are able to offer private lounges on certain sailings for up to 8, 40 or 80 guests. Your requirements can be confirmed during the booking process.
Are you able to offer refreshments?
We are able to offer a wide range of catering options. The Ship has a number of catering outlets on board which guests are able to purchase from. However, we are also able to provide dedicated catering on request should this be required. Our colleague can run through the menu range with you.
Do I have to book a return trip and come back the same day?
This is entirely up to you and your guests. Many people take a round trip beginning in either Southampton or East Cowes. Some guests decide to spend time on the Island or Mainland before returning home later in the day. We are fully flexible and the decision is up to individual guests, who can also book one way trips and extended stays. This can be confirmed during the booking process.
Do I have to book a car or can I travel as a foot passenger?
This is entirely up to you and we often find it is a mix of both options. Our colleague will ensure the right booking is made for all guests at the ceremony.
Are pets able to attend?
We welcome dogs on board all of our crossings, other pets can be accommodated on request.
How will I know where the ashes have been scattered?
The Captain will provide a certificate confirming the coordinates of where the ship stopped to scatter the ashes.
Our Customer Services Team can be contacted seven days a week between 08:00 and 19:00.
Telephone: 02380 019192