Rates are going up for the Northumberland Ferries service between Wood Islands, P.E.I. and Caribou, Nova Scotia.

The sailing schedule for the season, which begins May 1, will remain the same as last year, but the rates will rise by two percent.

The total round-trip fare for a passenger car, including the fuel surcharge, will be $72.50, up $1.50 from last year. That includes the fuel surcharge.

The increase has been approved by Transport Canada and is consistent with increased costs, said Donald Cormier, vice- president of operations and safety management.

"Our labour costs, our fuel costs, the cost of supply of anything else that we consume, paper products, our maintenance costs … generally speaking, there's always increases in costs to operate the service and those are typically passed on to consumers."

Efforts continue to improve the onboard experience, said Cormier.

The Music on Deck program that features Maritime talent will return from July to September and a new executive chef has been hired to help improve the menu.