Discover the Taste of Indonesia with renowned Australian Chef Benjamin Cross Aboard Aqua Blu

Benjamin Cross

Hailing from a small village from Australia, Chef Benjamin Cross began his career over 20 years ago at the award-winning Byron Bay boutique hotel and restaurant Rae’s on Watego’s. He honed his craft under some of the best icons of Australian cuisine, namely restaurateurs Janni Kyritsis from the former MG Garage, Neil Perry as part of the re-opening team of XO, and later as Sous Chef of Rockpool in Sydney. Cross also made his presence felt in the USA and Spain at Tom Colicchio’s Craft in New York, Seamus Mullen’s Tertullia New York, and Santi Santamaria’s three-Michelin star restaurant Can Fabes in Sant Celoni, Catalonia.
Sample dishes created by Chef Benjamin Cross for Aqua Blu include:


In May 2008 Chef Cross relocated to Bali, after a chance holiday on the way to Barcelona left him mesmerised by the people, culture and the food. He first brought his brand of magic to the legendary Ku de Ta, then set up Mejekawi, a fine-dining concept under the same brand in 2013. Five years later, Ben ventured out on his own to open Hank’s Pizza & Liquor, Fishbone Local, Mason and The Back Room with BHG (Brett Hospitality Group) as Co-Owner and Executive Chef.


His restaurants frequently top the list of the island’s best restaurants, which has become considered a food mecca. Cross attributes this to his food ethos, which is unpretentious and simple, based on top-quality produce and the ability to let the ingredients speak for themselves.


These limited-edition 2021 Chef-hosted departures will offer an abundance of unique opportunities for our guests aboard the Aqua Blu:

  • Customized Market Tours: Travel with our Chef to local markets to learn about locally grown and harvested ingredients – so essential to the freshness of our dishes.
  • Master Cooking Class: Attend a cooking class or a kitchen tour hosted by our Chef as he walks you through his secrets of recipe planning, preparation and execution.
  • Interactive Q&A with the Chef: Find out how the dynamic international food scene is transforming the way our Chef designs his latest visions of culinary creativity.

Chef-hosted departure with Benjamin Cross are available for booking now, with limited spaces.

2021 Departures

Oct 16th to Oct 23rd, 2021
Spice Islands
Journey aboard the Aqua Blu

As Consulting Chef for the Aqua Blu, Cross brings his philosophy of uncomplicated food to the table. Incorporating the culinary traditions of Indonesia alongside European and Mediterranean influences in a curated and inventive menu with over 160 dishes, the quality and freshness of the produce such as organic Javanese prawns, rare-breed Balinese black heritage pigs, and line-caught fair trade tuna, will be the culinary highlight of the cruise.