They’ve changed their name to Scenic (ok – not that big a change). And next Tuesday, they launch the third-generation space ship, Scenic Jasper, with the largest suites on Europe’s rivers and a plunge and jet pool. Cruise Passenger will be reporting on the rebirth of this great Aussie brand – along with author Kathy Lette.

Here, the Puberty Blues author and comedienne tells us how she feels:

How do you feel about being a godmother to a Scenic “space-ship”?
I was delighted to be asked by Scenic to the ship’s godmother. Or goddess as I prefer to call it! Yes, I get to smash the champers over the bow and everything. (Although, if it’s vintage, I’ll be swapping it for Prosceco and swigging it later in my cabin.) Ahoy me hearties!

Is there really a figurehead of you in a leopard mini-skirt on the bows?
Yes, I can now finally say that I have a really big bust! (A bonsai brunette, my bra cups do NOT runneth over!) I can also say that I have prowess and no snobby literary critic can contradict me!

You took your first cruise in 2013, when you said you were looking forward to it “about as much as an amateur ovarian-cyst removal”. How did it go?
Well, I thought it would be a case of HMS Claustrophobia but I soon realised the joy of cruising is that it takes all the hassle out of travel. You have all the benefits of tourism (exciting cities, castles, opera houses, cafes) but none of the hassle (sub-orbital ring roads, traffic jams, faulty sat navs). You can explore new towns all day, yet you’re umbilically attached to the mother ship for safety and comfort.

There are those that lock themselves in their cabins and enjoy the food and wine, and those that do everything, from shore excursions to shuffle-board on the deck. What kind of cruiser are you?
I do it all from crossword competitions and quiz nights, to tango lessons and ABBA Dance-athons. My sister and I danced so energetically to ABBA on our last cruise that we got A.R.D.I. (ABBA Related Dance Injuries) and had to be hospitalised.

What’s the best thing about cruising?
The opportunity to make seaman puns. Oh, and the utter tranquillity of being swept along, the water whispering away, soothing my jangled nerves, lapped like a cat on the sides of the boat as you sleep. The most pressing question is whether or not to have a cocktail before lunch.

Kathy Lette will be sharing her first river cruise in the next edition of Cruise Passenger magazine.