What Do They Do When Someone Dies on a Cruise Ship?

By Robert Palmer

Cruises ships are one of the most popular ways to travel. Each year, millions of people around the world embark on cruise ships, in search of relaxation and fun. But what happens when someone dies on a cruise ship?

When someone dies on a cruise ship, the crew is obligated to follow certain protocols and procedures. The first step is to pronounce the passenger dead and then inform their family members or companions. The family will then be allowed to make arrangements for the body to be returned home or to another destination.

Once those arrangements have been made, the cruise line will hold an internal investigation into the cause of death. This investigation is conducted by trained medical personnel who will interview witnesses and review evidence in order to determine what happened. If a crime is suspected, local authorities may be contacted as well.

The deceased passenger’s belongings will be collected and stored until further arrangements can be made for them to be returned home or transferred elsewhere. Depending on where in the world the ship is located, there may also be local laws that must be followed in order for a body to be repatriated or buried at sea.

Once all necessary steps have been taken, a memorial service may be held onboard for friends and family members who wish to pay their respects. The cruise line may also offer bereavement counseling services for those affected by the death.


When someone dies on a cruise ship, there are certain protocols that must be followed by both the crew and passengers involved. These include pronouncing death, conducting an internal investigation into its cause, repatriating or burying at sea if necessary, returning belongings home or transferring them elsewhere, and offering bereavement counseling services if desired.