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Frequently Asked Questions About Prince Charters' Memorial Services

releasing doves, funeral, burial at sea, long beach, california

Family members and friends enjoy a relaxing and peaceful cruise through the beautiful Huntington Harbour.

Once at the ash scattering site, the family has time to share stories or have a ceremony, say goodbye any way you wish. When the family is ready, the mate scatters the ashes and slowly circles the site three times. In maritime tradition, the Captain will ring the ship’s bell 8 times, signaling last watch. We then cruise back through the harbor to the original site. It takes about 35 minutes each way.

Flower petals from a dozen roses are provided with the Ash Scattering service. The flower petals are placed on top of the ashes in a basket creating a beautiful display before and after the ash scattering.

Journey – Up to 31 passengers
 Enclosed deck with large seating area

 All wood Salon area with complimentary waters and soft drinks

All wood Nautical Bar room

2 large restrooms

Beautiful teak floors though out the interior

Bluetooth stereo – bring your own music for the cruise and/or to use as part of the ceremony

Plenty of blankets for cooler weather

Must be able to go up and down 5 steps to enter and leave the vessel. The restrooms are below deck, so there are additional steps to the restroom

– Alexandria – Up to 11 passengers
Teak decks and cushioned benches with plenty of seating

Covered cabin with table and additional seating for 2 or 4

Portable restroom in an enclosed V-berth – low ceiling

Bluetooth stereo – bring your own music for the cruise and/or to use as part of the ceremony

Plenty of blankets for cooler weather

Must be able to go up and down 3 steps to enter and leave the vessel.

Tipping captain and crew is customary, and typically range from 15-20% for a job well done.

Meet us at the public dock behind Huntington Harbor Yacht Club, 3821 Warner Ave, Huntington Beach, CA 92649.

Plan to arrive approximately 30 minutes prior to the charter. Walk between the yacht club and the Fire Station to the dock. Please do not go into the yacht club.

Yes, there is a pay station next to the boat ramp (past the yacht club). The cost is minimal ($1.50 to $2.00 per hour). The machine accepts credit cards and cash.

Yes, we have blue tooth stereo system, so you are welcome to bring music with you. Many families assign a family member the job of loading their loved one’s favorite tunes on a phone so they play them throughout the charter.

We make every effort to accommodate the charter, especially when family members are arriving from a distance away. We will not reschedule a charter for rain, unless the family wishes to reschedule. However, if the weather is unsafe, we will work with the famiy to schedule a new date.

In case the weather is on the cooler side:

Alexandria has a small heated cabin with a table and two benches and lots of warm blankets.

Journey has a large enclosed aft deck and a salon and bar area inside the boat. Even with rain, we can accommodate all passengers inside the boat.

You are free to wear whatever clothing you feel comfortable in. We recommend matching your clothing with the current weather conditions. Feel free to give us a call if you are unsure of the current weather conditions.

We recommend wearing rubber soles shoes, sneakers or deck shoes. For your safety, no high heels please.

Feel free to bring any food or non-alcoholic beverages with you. Beer and wine products are available for sale on the boat. All passengers must be 21 years or older to consume alcohol with a valid photo ID.

No Smoking, vaping or drugs (legal or illegal) is permitted on the vessel
– Maritime Law supersedes California law

The family has a choice between the Seal Beach Pier or Surfside in Huntington Beach.  We can go near Alamitos Bay if LA County is the desired final resting place.  If a specific destination is requested, additional costs may be necessary based on additional time needed for the new location.  Call for custom requests.

The ashes are transferred from the container the mortuary provided, to a lined basket between two layers of rose petals from a dozen roses.   The basket is lowered by the mate, or if preferred, by a family member, to just above the ocean.  A second line attached to the bottom of the basket is pulled tilting the basket so the ashes and flowers flow into the ocean.

If the family has the ashes in a biodegradable container, either the mate or a family member will lower a basket containing the biodegradable container into the ocean. 

Family and friends are welcome to bring flowers or wreaths for tossing into the ocean immediately after the ashes are lowered. All flower ties or floral arrangement material must be made of biodegradable materials if being placed in the ocean.

Please bring the Ash Scattering permit with you.

For sunny days: Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses
For cooler days/mornings: In addition to the above items, dress in layers.

We provide on both weekdays and weekends. Services can be customized to accommodate almost any time request.

Yes, we are very flexible and do our best to fulfill all requests.

No. You are not required to have an Officiant to perform your service. Typically, family members and friends will assume the roll.

We have the name and phone number to contact for the military honor guard provided by the V.F.W. (Veterans of Foreign Wars). There is no charge for this service by the honor guard; however, a donation to cover their personal expenses is appropriate. Veterans Honor Program.

Prince Charters was originally founded in 1965 by Captain Doug’s grandfather, Dr. Gilbert Prince. It all began with a love for the sea, and a priest who found a way to use that love to create a very special ministry to the bereaved.

The Rev. Gilbert Prince, then rector of St. James, South Pasadena, led a group of clergymen in persuading California’s legislators to change the state law so that ashes of a deceased person could be scattered at sea.

We will perform an unattended ash scattering service no more than 14 days after receipt. Typically, we will perform the service within the week. Upon your request, after the service is preformed you will receive a memorial certificate indicating the date of the scattering service. The memorial certificate will also contain the latitude and longitude of where the ashes were scattered.

We will provide you the exact longitude and latitude coordinates where the ashes were released.