We are thrilled to announce that Aqua Expeditions will be launching a series of chef hosted departures this year. Renowned chef Benjamin Cross will be onboard Aqua Blu in Indonesia, and Peruvian legend Pedro Miguel Schiaffino onboard Aqua Nera on the Amazon River.

Guests onboard Aqua’s Chef Hosted Departures can expect to explore the world’s most biodiverse and culturally significant destinations, aboard best-in-class vessels of stylish contemporary design, all whilst enjoying exquisite, mouth-watering dishes created by the locally inspired legendary chefs.

With Benjamin Cross on Aqua Blu, and Pedro Miguel Schiaffino on Aqua Nera

Aqua Expeditions

Recognised as the global leader in luxury small-ship expeditions, Aqua Expeditions is thrilled to announce three exclusive Chef Hosted Departures this year – renowned chef Benjamin Cross will be onboard Aqua Blu in Indonesia, and  Peruvian legend Pedro Miguel Schiaffino onboard Aqua Nera on the Amazon River. Guests onboard Aqua’s Chef Hosted  Departures can expect to explore the world’s most biodiverse and culturally significant destinations, aboard best-in-class vessels of stylish contemporary design, all whilst enjoying exquisite, mouth-watering dishes created by the locally inspired legendary chefs.

During these special sailings, the two chefs will present their signature recipes, conduct cooking masterclasses (including ceviche and Balinese fish cakes), cocktail demonstrations, kitchen tours and host an onboard dinner where their knowledge can be shared. For culinary enthusiasts, this is the perfect sailing to enjoy the signature Aqua experience and get a behind-the-scenes look at the world-class onboard cuisine.

Aqua Expeditions

Aqua Nera Departures with Pedro Miguel Schiaffino (Peruvian Amazon) 14-18 May & 17-21 September 2024

Aboard Aqua Nera, chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino creates Peruvian-Japanese Nikkei cuisine combining native Amazonian ingredients with traditional cooking techniques. 70 percent of all fresh ingredients used onboard is sustainably sourced within Peru and the Andes of Ecuador. Highlights include Galapagueña lobster lettuce wraps with Acevichado dressing, delicate potato llapingachos, tuna crudo, barbecued plantains, and shrimp ceviche.

Schiaffino will host two departures on Aqua Nera: one sailing from 14-18 May and a second from 17-21 September. Setting a new standard for luxury river expeditions on the Amazon and launched late 2020, Aqua Nera honours Amazonian cultures and traditions, tastefully weaving design accents from the rubber boom era with the colourful cultures of Portugal, Spain, and Peru. Navigating the depths of the world’s most biodiverse rainforest in comfort, Aqua Nera’s expert naturalist guides conduct small group excursions rewarding guests with up-close wildlife encounters.

Pedro Miguel Schiaffino was the chef of Lima’s Malabar and ámaZ, is on the Latin Cuisines Advisory Council and founder of Schiaffino Gastronomika.  He joined the Aqua Expeditions team in 2007 and today is responsible for the culinary experiences on three vessels: Aqua Nera, Aria Amazon, and Aqua Mare.

Aqua Blu Departures with Benjamin Cross (Komodo National Park, Indonesia) 10-17 August 2024

Aboard Aqua Blu, Indonesia’s first resident long-range ocean explorer yacht, each meal is an adventure of its own. Guests of the 15 individually designed suites will get to experience remarkable cuisine curated by Benjamin Cross who promises inspiring food, drawing inspiration from Indonesian, European and Mediterranean palettes. Chef Cross has crafted over 160 recipes for Aqua Expeditions over the years, incorporating a variety of Indonesia’s spices and flavours from Giant Papuan Prawns to Yellow Fin Tuna Tartare, bringing diners on a culinary journey of the region.

Aqua Expeditions

During his hosted departure on Aqua Blu, Chef Cross will present mouth-watering dishes including a 48-hour beef short rib rendang, Balinese suckling pig with bumbu Bali (Balinese spices), organic Javanese prawns marinated in fragrant oil and lime, and his personal favourite, handline- caught fish grilled with Balinese sambal. Cruising from Labuan Bajo, through the Komodo National Park all the way to Bali, guests will see the best Indonesia has to offer. Led by highly experienced crew and guides, guests will be given the chance to explore the world’s most biodiverse marine habitats, embark on adventurous hike across active volcanos, and even snorkel with whale sharks.

Hailing from Australia, Chef Cross began his career over 20 years ago at the award-winning Byron Bay boutique hotel and restaurant Raes on Wategos. He honed his craft under some of the top icons of Australian cuisine: Janni Kyritsis from the former MG Garafe, and Neil Perry as part of the re-opening team of XO.

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