How an AI assistant helps Stena Line Ferries reinvent travel for millions of customers

Natalie Smithson
AI enthusiast | Tea addict | Focused on using AI assistants to win the working week
AI assistant supporting travel customers for Stena Line ferries

Stena Line Ferries | Travel

Key challenges

One of the largest ferry operators in the world today, Stena Line has always been an early adopter of AI. Almost a decade ago ― way before it was even a buzz word, the team were keen to explore what was on the horizon for AI-powered travel assistance, but there was a lot of ground to cover.

  • They have 37 vessels that sail across multiple routes around Europe
  • Millions of passengers with highly specific travel details need individual attendion
  • Information from many other business systems is needed to resolve enquiries

Key results

Stena Line booked a call with us to find out how launching an AI assistant could help and Stina was created. A complex AI assistant supporting their passengers with everything from ticket bookings and travel arrangements, to where to park their car and find food on board.

  • Stina solves up to 99% of routine passenger queries for the ferry operator
  • The AI assistant is trained to support passengers on 25,000 sailings around Europe every year in six languages
  • Where most chatbots might link up with 1 or 2 business systems, next-gen AI assistant Stina connects to 20+
Image of the Stena Line AI (purple speech bubble logo) with a pop out speech bubble that says
Text reads: - 99% of the most popular queries are solved by Stina - 6 European languages are supported by the Al assistant - 10 years on Stina's one of the oldest ever AI assistants

Notable breakthroughs along the way

  • Stina has been trained to assist in many ways over the years, on the Stena Line website, their app, and even as a hologram
  • AI helps the ferry operator uncover patterns in passenger behaviour that transforms their insight
  • The customer service teams benefit just as much as customers do from the use of AI
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It takes just 10 minutes to launch an AI assistant

Years ago, it was a long-winded, expensive and highly technical process for Stena Line to launch their AI assistant. Now, things are far quicker, easier, and cheaper:

All you need to get started is your website url ― it’s that simple!

Screen on EBI.AI AI Studio platform where you are asked to enter the URL for your website to automatically create an AI assistant using its content

Stena Line creates waves in the travel industry using AI to make an impact

Using an AI assistant to navigate the ebb and flow of enterprise and technology systems in travel and tourism, Stena Line relied on our long history in data engineering to help catch every AI opportunity in the net.

They chose the name and avatar, and have full control over every response Stina sends out to their valuable customers, which can be edited any time.

All they need to check Stina’s progress is on their client dashboard:

EBI.AI client dashboard showing AI assistant conversation trends and data - travel
(Data shown is for illustrative purposes only)

Stena Line now easily adapts to what passengers need on the go and in real time

Stena Line’s AI journey began with a Facebook messenger chatbot in the early days of artificial intelligence. As live chat and smartphone technology progressed, so did our AI assistants. Stina became more than just a chat widget, bringing AI power to Stena Line’s Travel Mate app and their UK website.

The AI assistant was trained to answer passengers in five more languages besides English, so their customers in Ireland, Sweden, Poland, Norway and the Netherlands could chat online too. At one point, Stina was even a hologram, designed to use onboard Stena Line ferries to give their passengers information in real-time, exactly at the point they need it.

Using AI, the travel company can reinvent Stina any time depending on what their customers need from them most ― right now.

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Our conversation review service means Stina is always at peak performance

Stina has artificial intelligence, so doesn’t learn in the same way we do. It’s our team of psychologists, analysts, designers and writers that makes sure Stina gives out the correct information to customers, every time and without fail. They’re continually reviewing conversations between Stena Line passengers and Stina (any personal information is automatically removed), looking for patterns to see where improvements can be made. Having this human in the loop performing vital conversation review helps guide the decisions the ferry company makes, showing where travel services can improve and what takes priority.

Stena Line can easily change direction

Keeping a constant check on conversations means it’s spotted straight away if questions start to come in that are new, say there’s a situation local to a particular port or a global change to travel restrictions. Our review team is the first to see this shift and can quickly give Stina new, relevant information to keep the chat flowing.

Mass communication’s a breeze with an AI assistant on board

Since tens of thousands of passengers can all speak to an AI assistant at the same time, one change to the information Stina gives out can reach countless passengers at once.

Stena Line can see the most popular queries any time on their client dashboard to keep Stina on track no matter what happens along the way.

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Every Stena Line customer can have their say

Using an AI assistant brings Stena Line closer to their customers because they talk more often and in real-time. As well as using the data they get from the things people say to Stina to keep the exchange fresh, they can also ask for in the moment feedback at the end of every chat. This means they can take on board the emotional impact of the customer experience to tweak any aspect that can be improved.

Stina is incredibly well connected with seamless integration to other systems

Rather than use many different technology companies to delicately connect their AI assistant with their business systems, Stena Line can rely on our 20+ years of data engineering experience to create one seamless network. The best bit is, our AI platform isn’t restricted to any one technology and integrations are unlimited, so whatever Stena Line wants to do next and with whichever technology, they’ll always get the best tech available to keep their plans moving in the right direction.

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Stina can appear on any device, anywhere

Modern ferries might not look too different to when they first set sail at the beginning of the nineteenth century, but the technology used to run them sure does. For Stena Line, the beauty of using AI to speak instantly with any customer passing through their terminals is Stina can appear on land or at sea on any device. As times change (and so do those devices), the ferry company can quickly change direction whenever they need to, making use of precise knowledge about every passenger.

It's plain sailing for Stena Line with the help of AI

Stena Line has been flying the flag for AI since 2015 with a near-perfect success rate, not just moving with the times, but drawing the map for other travel companies that want to explore AI too, giving them the freedom to keep creating more joyful experiences for their customers.

Passengers will start to see more real-time interaction onboard with Stina, helping them with anything they need, instantly, whenever they need it, at any time of the night or day.

It makes travelling with Stena Line the thing every traveller wants: effortless and stress-free.

A woman is on a ferry using her phone to chat to an AI assistant to check what time her return ferry will be

Launch an AI assistant today (or ask us to do it)

It’s easy to use our AI Studio to create and manage your own AI assistant, or you can choose our managed service and ask us to do it all for you. AI assistants are now used across all sorts of industries to transform customer service, and every organisation is different.

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Get an AI assistant working around the clock to instantly resolve passenger queries:

  • Automate up to 90% of routine enquiries*
  • Reduce your average cost per enquiry from £5 to 5p*
  • Increase customer satisfaction by 67%*
  • Move your support team onto higher value tasks

*all results we’ve delivered for our clients

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