Viking River Cruises, a major European river cruise company, is coming to New Orleans and the Mississippi River.

Gov. Bobby Jindal and Viking officials announced Tuesday that New Orleans will be the first North American home port for the cruise line.

Jindal says the move means hundreds of jobs and a boost to the city's tourism industry.

Jindal says Viking is expected to begin offering cruises from New Orleans in 2017.

Cruises will head north to Memphis, St. Louis and St. Paul, Minnesota, depending on the season.

The company plans to build six boats capable of hosting up to 300 passengers for the new American cruises.

Viking runs tours in Europe and Asia and has expanded rapidly in the past few years. And river cruising in general has exploded in popularity.