Improving the inversion of ocean color data is an ever continuing effort to increase the accuracy of derived inherent optical properties. In this paper we present a stochastic inversion algorithm to derive inherent optical properties from ocean color, ship and space borne data. The inversion algorithm is based on the cross-entropy method where sets of inherent optical properties are generated and converged to the optimal set using iterative process. The algorithm is validated against four data sets: simulated, noisy simulated in-situ measured and satellite match-up data sets. Statistical analysis of validation results is based on model-II regression using five goodness-of-fit indicators; only R 2 and root mean square of error (RMSE) are mentioned hereafter. Accurate values of total absorption coefficient are derived with R 2 > 0.91 and RMSE, of log transformed data, less than 0.55. Reliable values of the total backscattering coefficient are also obtained with R 2 > 0.7 (after removing outliers) and RMSE < 0.37. The developed algorithm has the ability to derive reliable results from noisy data with R 2 above 0.96 for the total absorption and above 0.84 for the backscattering coefficients. The algorithm is self contained and easy to implement and modify to derive the variability of chlorophyll-a absorption that may correspond to different phytoplankton species. It gives consistently accurate results and is therefore worth considering for ocean color global products.