Playbill Travel Acquires Empress Travel & Cruises

Playbill Travel Inc., a subsidiary of Playbill Magazine, has acquired travel company Empress Travel & Cruises to continue building a presence in the performance travel niche. Empress Travel & Cruises, a Schenectady-based company run by Edward Plog and Barbara Waterbury, has been in business for over 40 years and has over 2,000 clients.

Formed in 2010 to build a special category of travel related to entertainment and experiential journeys, Playbill Travel introduced its Broadway on the High Seas cruises in 2011. These cruises, on ships chartered by Playbill Travel, offer nightly performances by Broadway stars. Since 2011, Playbill Travel has produced 14 Broadway-related ocean and riverboat cruises. Tony-winning stars such as Brian Stokes Mitchell, Patti LuPone, Chita Rivera, Christine Ebersole, Laura Benanti, Tommy Tune, Alice Ripley, Paulo Szot, Rachel Bay Jones, and more have performed for cruise passengers in the past eight years.

With the help of Empress Travel & Cruises, Playbill will introduce several new products, including the Playbill Signature Weekends to New York City that include tickets to popular shows like Hamilton, Frozen, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and more.

Other new products soon to be announced will be group trips to New York City, Broadway and culinary cruises, and a Signature Playbill Long Weekend to London. Over the next 14 months, Playbill Travel will be featuring three Broadway on the High Seas cruises or river cruises:

  • Seven nights in Iceland on Ponant’s 264-passenger expedition yacht, Le Soléal – July 3–10, 2018.
  • Seven nights in Burgundy on Uniworld River Cruises’ 159-guest luxury ship, the S.S. Catherine – April 7–14, 2019.
  • Seven nights in the Greek Isles on Ponant’s 244-passenger expedition yacht, Le Lyrial – June 24–July 1, 2019.

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