Cruise ships return to SA

The first major cruise ship to visit Adelaide since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic has docked with about 1600 passengers expected to come ashore.

The P&O Pacific Explorer has sailed from Sydney and will visit Port Lincoln and Penneshaw, on Kangaroo Island, later this week.

That will be the first of 11 short round trips for the Pacific Explorer which will start and end in SA with the ship using Adelaide as a home port.

Its voyage follows last week's somewhat troubled arrival of the Coral Princess in Western Australian waters, which included an outbreak of coronavirus among passengers and crew.

The ship was also forced to miss two port stops in WA because of bad weather.

With cruise ships returning to SA, Tourism Minister Zoe Bettison said 170,000 passengers were expected to visit the state this season.

"It's plain sailing for the return of cruising in South Australia, signalling a multimillion-dollar boost for our state's visitor economy," Ms Bettison said.

"We're not just restarting this key sector of tourism, we're welcoming more cruises to South Australia than ever before with 104 visits."

Other cruise ships scheduled to visit South Australia over summer include Cunard's Queen Mary 2, Royal and Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas, one of the largest cruise ships in the world, carrying up to 4180 passengers.