Launching the University Travel Club's 50th season of record will be Rudi Thurau's Rhine River Adventure, scheduled for Kingsbury Hall on the University of Utah's lower campus Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 8 p.m.

Join Rudi and his crew as they follow the beautiful Rhine River from its source high in the icy Alps, starting with a daring white-water raft trip through the grand canyons of picture postcard Switzerland, past historic Strasbourg in France, and Germany's medieval castles, forests, vineyards and romantic cities, and across Holland's captivating countryside to the angry North Sea . . . more than 1,300 adventurous kilometers.The full-length, full-color film is the first of 11 films that make up Utah's only travelog series, extending through May 1, 1991.

Mr. Thurau focuses on the romantic Rhine, one of the world's greatest rivers - known as much for its scenic glory as for its historical past. Rome's mighty legions sailed its long sweep into Europe's heartland . . . in medieval times, affluential Hanseatic towns bloomed and prospered along its banks. The Rhine castles and palaces today bear witness to the splendor of this river.

Rudi's camera will focus on the Black Forest capital of Freiburg, a wine festival at Ruedesheim, composer Ludwig van Beethoven's home, dutch farmhouses, windmills, outdoor museums, street musicians and ends with a majestic sunset over the North Sea.

Born and educated in West Germany, Thurau began his travel odyssey with an eight-month bicycle trip from Europe to India. A motor scooter ride across the scorching Sahara Desert was his first travel film subject, followed by a raft voyage down Africa's wild Niger River.

He then came to America under President Eisenhower's People-to-People program to lecture with his travel films and entertain with his guitar.

Stories about his travels have appeared in such publications as the Saturday Evening Post and Argosy. He has appeared on the "Tonight Show," "I Search for Adventure" and many other television shows.

Despite his reputation for derring-do, Rudi Thurau is best known to travel film audiences for his light and humorous narration.

To facilitate night-time parking, a shuttlebus will begin service from Rice Stadium parking lot at 7:10 p.m.

Season tickets will save UTC patrons the equivalent of two films. Information about the schedule, ticket prices, individual show rates and other matters may be obtained weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or by phoning Kingsbury Hall at 581-7100.

Because the first film usually attracts large crowds and long lines, arrive as soon after 7 p.m. as you can for the least confusion and the best seating.