Some 250 of the disaster's victims were students at a single school — Danwon High School in Ansan, near Seoul.
Lee Jung-seob, whose daughter Hye-kyung died, said: "I am so heartbroken. In such cold water, to think how cold she would have been, As she ended her life, to think how she would have missed her mum and dad and her family, my heart aches so much."
A memorial for the victims was held once the ship docked in Jindo.
A group of lawmakers from the country's ruling Saenuri Party were turned away from the memorial service, following angry protests from relatives about the government's response to the disaster, the country's Yonhap News Agency reported.
Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.