The impact of the ongoing anthropogenic warming on the Arctic Ocean sea ice is ascertained and closely monitored. However, its long-term fate remains an open question as its natural variability on centennial to millennial timescales is not well documented. Here, we use marine sedimentary records to reconstruct Arctic sea-ice fluctuations. Cores collected along the Lomonosov Ridge that extends across the Arctic Ocean from northern Greenland to the Laptev Sea were radiocarbon dated and analyzed for their micropaleontological and palynological contents, both bearing information on the past sea-ice cover. Results demonstrate that multiyear pack ice remained a robust feature of the western and central Lomonosov Ridge and that perennial sea ice remained present throughout the present interglacial, even during the climate optimum of the middle Holocene that globally peaked ~6,500 y ago. In contradistinction, the southeastern Lomonosov Ridge area experienced seasonally sea-ice-free conditions, at least, sporadically, until about 4,000 y ago. They were marked by relatively high phytoplanktonic productivity and organic carbon fluxes at the seafloor resulting in low biogenic carbonate preservation. These results point to contrasted west-east surface ocean conditions in the Arctic Ocean, not unlike those of the Arctic dipole linked to the recent loss of Arctic sea ice. Hence, our data suggest that seasonally ice-free conditions in the southeastern Arctic Ocean with a dominant Arctic dipolar pattern, may be a recurrent feature under "warm world" climate.