Viking Ship Ash Casket

Have you ever thought how wonderful it would be to have your ashes sent off to sea or on a lake in a Viking ship? At Cradle to Grave we can provide you with a lovingly crafted Viking ship complete with sail, wooden shields and an ash urn.

Our beautiful Viking ship caskets are designed by Cath and her partner Tosh. They have been created to give your loved one a send off you won't forget. I myself have fantasized about having a Viking funeral and being laid to rest in a long-ship, and launched off to sea and have arrows shot at it to set it on fire and then sail off into the sunset.

Now our dream can be a reality, but on a smaller scale.


Our boats are fully watertight and can be floated on a calm lake or a calm sea. They are made of Somerset willow, making them 100% bio-degradable, produced with all natural materials enabling them to be used in a burial of ashes. In the interim period, the boat can be purchased and used as an ornament and can be shown off to all your friends.

Each Viking Ship comes with an authentic stripy red and white sail, but can also be painted with a family crest or a design of your choice, as you can see from our gallery featured below. A small square ash basket with a canvas ash bag sits inside the boat.



Having a final send-off, whether it be a scattering of ashes, a burial or sending ashes off in a boat should be ceremonious and an occasion shared by loved ones and remembered fondly.

All our ships are individually made so bear in mind that it can take 3-4 days to make and 1-2 days to post so a weeks notice at least is advised. For overseas orders, it could take up to 10 days to make and post.

Have a look at our gallery below to see some of the creations we have made.



96 cm length x 40 cm wide (width of boat). Sail and mast: 70 cm wide (sail) x 65 cm high (mast)

38" length x 15" wide (width of boat ). Sail and mast: 27" wide (sail) x 25" high (mast)



( US DOLLAR $550) OVERSEAS USA POSTAGE AROUND £220 depending on location,OR DOLLARS `$270 -

3-5 Days for delivery.

These prices include a standard red and white stripey sail,an ash basket ,and a viking ship

Personalised sail depending on design from £15 -£45 please enquire for details.

Please call or email for delivery options (one or two day delivery parcelforce)

Each Viking boat comes with assembling instructions and instructions on how to prepare and set fire to boat for ceremony.

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Viking Funerals and Burials History

Most Viking funerals did not involve a ship set ablaze and launched at sea, instead they usually involved ship shaped burial plots marked by stones. These tumuli, or burial mounds, can be found in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. However, the burning of the body, usually did take place and was important spiritually. The Norseman believed the hotter the flames and the higher the smoke, the closer their loved one came to Valhalla. It was important for Vikings to send their dead into the afterlife correctly.

However great warriors and members of the aristocracy were often set to rest in their long-ships. Sometimes these long-ships were buried and sometimes they were set on fire and sent off to sea. Vikings were buried with the belongings they may need in the afterlife, such as weapons or even animals. Sometimes a thrall (slave) was also sacrificed at the burial. The thrall was believed to go with the master into the afterlife to serve him there.

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My brother died a year earlier. We decided to hold a one-year remembrance for him in this way. Family members came from Europe and The west coast to participate. Our boating friends were happy to help.

The weather was perfect with light waves less than a foot as we headed out onto the lake in our motorboat. We played a selection of music and welcomed everyone to write private prayers to place in the basket of the boat along with several photos and mementos.

Under way, a seven jet formation of the Blue Angels, the US Navy jet performance demonstration team, just happened to fly In front of our bow as we motored out to the deep waters of the Great Lake. Less than 300 meters above us, perhaps a kilometer in front of us. The best I can figure, looking at their show schedule, they were flying from one air show location to the next.

The coincidental timing of the fly by was astounding. Why they were in formation, and so low? Perhaps they decided to give us a “show”. A minute timing difference one way or the other and we would not have crossed paths so closely, so dramatically. They were as modern day Valkyries. It was truly amazing! We were listening to Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” at the time.

When we reach the memorial location, we launched the Viking boat, setting it afire, said prayers, read poems, read a code of “what it means to be a Viking”, listened to Wagner’s “Siegfried’s Funeral March” Followed by “I Vow to Thee”, as performed at Churchill’s funeral.

We followed the recommendation of using two bricks as ballast for the boat. Kindling was placed at the bottom of the the hull. Larger, 5 cm cubes of hickory fueled the burn. We used the small wood chunks to avoid any dangerous floating debris the larger wood logs could have created. A little bit of lighter fluid helped start the combustion. The ship burned for about half an hour, down to the waterline, and the boat sank out of sight as the water flooded the hull. Thank you for constructing such a “seaworthy” boat.

We played continued with the music on the way back to harbor, including Pink Floyd‘s “Wish You Were Here“ and Bob Marley’s “Three little Birds”.

The coat of arms on the mast has special significance to my brother and me. He had a tattoo of it on his right bicep.

Thank you for helping us fulfill my brother’s last wishes. All who witnessed and participated in the farewell were moved by this most special ceremony. Even the most seasoned boaters said this tribute was unique and exceptional, just as my brother wanted.



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Some advice on using our Viking Ship Caskets

It's really important to make a decent fire using completely dry seasoned kindling wood and small seasoned logs for the fire and to fill the boat up like in the photo below, as you ideally need the boat to burn for at least 20 minutes to get the full effect. A reasonable amount of lighter fuel (do not drench otherwise it will burn too quickly) sprayed on the sail and about 4 or 5 firelighters in the bottom of boat under fire should do the trick. Make sure the vessel is absolutely balanced in the water before launching off and setting on fire.

Two house bricks are wedged in for balance and to help the ship sink, as shown in the photo. These may need to be adjusted depending on the weight of the ashes.

Two house bricks are wedged in for balance and to help the ship sink, as shown in the photo. These may need to be adjusted depending on the weight of the ashes.

filling up your viking fireship with kindling and logs
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